United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MEMORANDUM RULING & ORDER
E. WALTER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. #512], filed
by defendant Randy L. Randall (“Randall”). For
the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
December 14, 2011, a grand jury in the Western District of
Louisiana returned a 34-count indictment charging thirteen
defendants, including Randall, with various drug and firearm
offenses. [Doc. #1]. Randall was named in four counts.
Attorney G. Warren Thornell (“Mr. Thornell”) was
appointed to represent Randall. [Doc. #125]. On April 11,
2012, with the advice of Mr. Thornell and pursuant to a plea
agreement, Randall pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to
possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of
cocaine (Count 1), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 846, and one count of possession of a firearm
in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count 24), in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). [Docs.
to the signed factual basis attached to the plea agreement,
Randall admitted to the following facts:
Title III wiretaps of co-defendant Darien Reliford's cell
phone w[ere] authorized by this Court, from September, 2011,
to November 15, 2011, based on an investigation by the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA). The wiretaps revealed that
Darien Reliford was involved in cocaine trafficking with the
co-defendants in this indictment. Darien Reliford also sold
the cocaine himself.
Reliford was observed by the DEA to travel to an apartment,
number 201, located at 1620 Fullerton St., Shreveport, LA,
three times before he made three of his distributions of
cocaine. The DEA suspected the apartment to be a stash place
for Reliford's cocaine. The investigation has
subsequently revealed that that inference was correct. The
one-bedroom apartment was listed in the name of this
On November 15, 2011, the DEA executed a federal search
warrant at that apartment, and the Defendant was apprehended
inside. 148.8 net grams of powder cocaine, and 35.2 net grams
of crack cocaine were seized in the bedroom closet, as well
as a plate with cocaine residue and a razor from under the
bed in which the Defendant was sleeping. A loaded shotgun was
also seized from the bedroom closet alongside the packaged
cocaine. The shotgun is a Remington 870, 12 gauge shotgun.
[Doc. #227-2, pp. 1-2]. Randall further admitted that the
above facts were sufficient to support both the conspiracy
and the firearm charges, and that the “overall
scope” of the drug conspiracy “involved 5
kilograms and more” of cocaine. Id. at p. 2.
to the plea agreement, Randall affirmed that he
“understands and agrees that the maximum punishment on
Count 1 is a term of imprisonment of NOT LESS than 10
years nor more than Life imprisonment, a fine
of not more than $10, 000, 000 or both (pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A)(ii))[.]” [Doc. #227, p. 2 (emphasis
in original)]. As to Count 24, the plea agreement stated that
“the maximum punishment . . . is a term of imprisonment
of not less than 5 years, which shall run
consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on
Count 1.” Id. (emphasis in original).
the April 11, 2012, change of plea hearing, pursuant to Rule
11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court
addressed Randall and engaged in the following exchange:
THE COURT: Do you understand what's going on?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. I'm pleading out to the conspiracy
and the gun charge.
THE COURT: The maximum sentence is, on Count 1, not less than
10 years nor more than life, a fine of $10 million, or both,
supervised release of not less than 5 years; and on Count 24,
it's not less than 5 years, which will run consecutively
to any term of imprisonment in Count 1, supervised release of
an additional 2 to 3 years, and a special assessment to the
Crime Victim Fund of $200. . . .
Is that what you understood, Mr. ...