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United States v. Stapleton

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

May 22, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
STEVE STAPLETON

MEMORANDUM ORDER

ROBERT G. JAMES, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is a pleading filed by Defendant Steve Stapleton ("Stapleton"), which is styled a "Motion to Request Recommendation of Non [sic] Pro Tunc Designation under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)" ("Second Motion for Recommendation") [Doc. No. 79].

In 2003, Stapleton was serving parole based on a conviction in the 4th Judicial District, Parish of Ouachita, for a distribution of cocaine. On or about August 5, 2003, Stapleton's state parole officer searched his residence in Columbia, Louisiana, which is located in Caldwell Parish. The parole officer located marijuana, cocaine, a Glock, Model 26, 9mm caliber pistol bearing serial number DBVO59US, rounds of ammunition, and a scanner in the residence. After the parole officer discovered the drugs, but prior to completion of the search, Stapleton fled the residence.

On August 22, 2003, the Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Department advised the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department that it had received information that Stapleton was hiding at a camp in that parish. State and local law enforcement officers executed a search of the camp, and Stapleton exited through the back door with a tote bag in his hand. After a warning shot was fired, Stapleton dropped to the ground and was subsequently arrested. Law enforcement officers discovered that the tote bag contained an FEG, Model P9RK, 9 mm caliber pistol bearing serial number KO9775, various rounds of ammunition, binoculars, a large knife, and other items.

The above-referenced facts resulted in multiple criminal charges against Stapleton in multiple parishes. In Caldwell Parish, the 37th Judicial District, Stapleton was charged under two separate docket numbers. In one case, Stapleton was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and resisting an officer. In a second case, he was charged with simple escape.

In Winn Parish, the 8th Judicial District, Stapleton was charged with resisting by flight, burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of marijuana.

In Ouachita Parish, in Docket No. 98-F0044, parole revocation proceedings were commenced.

On January 28, 2004, he was indicted in this Court of two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was charged with being in possession of the Glock found in his residence in Caldwell Parish and the FEG found in the tote bag at the time of his arrest in Winn Parish.

Two days later, on January 30, 2004, Stapleton was sentenced to serve a 15-year term of imprisonment on the parole revocation.[1]

On September 23, 2004, Stapleton was convicted of both federal counts. The jury also found, as to each count, that Stapleton had three prior felony convictions, thus bringing him within the enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(3).

On January 4, 2005, the Court sentenced Stapleton to serve a term of imprisonment of 210 months, to run concurrently with any state parole revocation sentence. The Court did not address the other pending state charges in Caldwell and Winn Parishes.

According to Stapleton, on January 30, 2005, he was sentenced to a second 15-year term of imprisonment on the state court charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He does not state which court, the 37th Judicial District Court or the 8th Judicial District Court, sentenced him. However, according to the records of the 8th Judicial District Court, Stapleton was sentenced to a 15-year term of imprisonment to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The state court judge indicated, however, that it was his intent for the sentence to run concurrently to Stapleton's federal sentence. The last records of the 37th Judicial District Court indicate that trial was continued without date.[2]

Stapleton appealed his federal conviction and sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Specifically, Stapleton argued that he was improperly sentenced as an armed career criminal. On March 20, 2006, the Fifth Circuit affirmed his conviction and sentence.

On August 4, 2006, he sought post-conviction relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Stapleton argued that he was improperly sentenced as an armed career criminal and that his counsel was ineffective for failing to present an affidavit to impeach a trial witness. The Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court deny and dismiss Stapleton's petition. The Court agreed, and, on December 8, 2008, ...


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