United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
Manuel Minjarez has moved for reconsideration of the
Court's denial (Rec. Doc. 101) of his motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence. Rec. Doc. 104. The Government timely filed an
opposition. Rec. Doc. 106. For the reasons discussed below,
IT IS ORDERED that the motion (Rec. Doc.
104) is DENIED. FACTUAL
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
factual background and procedural history of this case were
discussed in depth in the Order and Reasons denying
Petitioner Manual Minjarez's Section 2255 motion.
See Rec. Doc. 101. The relevant facts are included
August 8, 2014, Petitioner was charged in a three count
indictment with (1) one count of conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a
substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine
and (2) two counts of using a communications facility to
facilitate a drug crime. See Rec. Doc. 5. On June
10, 2015, Petitioner pled guilty to all three counts of the
indictment without a plea agreement. See Rec. Doc.
68. The factual basis agreed to by the Government and
Petitioner, and accepted by the Court at the rearraignment
hearing, detailed Petitioner's involvement with the drug
conspiracy. See Rec. Doc. 69.
the factual basis described various shipments from a
“methamphetamine distributor” in Fresno,
California, to Petitioner in Louisiana. See Id. One
package sent to Petitioner on July 16, 2014, was intercepted
by the United States Postal Service and contained
“approximately 437.1 grams of pure
methamphetamine.” Id. at 2. The
methamphetamine distributor had sent another package to
Petitioner on July 10, 2014. See Id. That package
was not intercepted, but “weighed approximately one
pound and eleven ounces.” Id.
on the pair of shipments described in the factual basis, the
Presentence Report (PSR) calculated Petitioner's sentence
for “an offense involving at least 500 grams but less
than 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.” Rec. Doc. 72 at
5-7. Neither the Government nor Petitioner objected to the
PSR and the Court adopted the PSR for sentencing.
See Rec. Doc. 84 at 3-5. The Guidelines range for
Count 1 (the drug conspiracy) was 151 to 188 months
imprisonment. See Rec. Doc. 72 at 15. Petitioner was
sentenced to 151 months of imprisonment as to Count 1 and
forty-eight months of imprisonment as to each Counts 2 and 3.
See Rec. Doc. 84 at 21:10- 18. Petitioner's
sentences run concurrently with credit for time served.
Section 2255 motion, Petitioner argued, inter alia,
that his sentence was invalid because he suffered ineffective
assistant of counsel during the sentencing hearing when his
“attorney instructed [him] to remain quiet and not
object to the drug quantity” in the PSR. Rec. Doc. 97
at 7-8. Petitioner argued that his attorney should have
allowed him to object because “[t]he drug amount in
[his] presentencing investigation report w[as] listed as 500
grams or more[, ]” but “[t]he actual and correct
amount was 443 grams.” Id. at 7. In denying
Petitioner's Section 2255 motion, the Court concluded
that Petitioner's counsel did not render ineffective
assistance by deciding not to object to the PSR because no
objection was warranted. See Rec. Doc. 101 at 16.
The Court reasoned that the factual basis and PSR adequately
supported the conclusion that Petitioner was responsible for
500 grams or more of methamphetamine. See Id. at
15-16. Petitioner then filed the instant motion for
reconsideration, arguing again that his sentence should have
been based on less than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
See Rec. Doc. 104 at 1.
filed the instant motion to reconsider twenty-six days after
the Court denied his Section 2255 motion. See Rec.
Docs. 101; 104. Therefore, Petitioner's motion should be
analyzed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). See
Texas A&M Research Found. v. Magna Transp., Inc.,
338 F.3d 394, 400 (5th Cir. 2003); see also, e.g.,
United States v. Caston, No. 09-98, 2012 WL 5463143,
at *1-2 (E.D. La. Nov. 8, 2012) (using Rule 59(e) to analyze
a timely filed motion for reconsideration of denial of
Section 2255 motion). “Rule 59(e) serves the narrow
purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”
Templet v. HydroChem, Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 479 (5th
Cir. 2004). “A Rule 59(e) motion . . . is not the
proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or
arguments that could have been offered or raised
before” the order was issued. Id. at 478-79.
As a result, the “extraordinary remedy” available
under Rule 59(e) “should be used sparingly.”
Id. at 479.
offers no valid reason to reconsider the denial of his
Section 2255 motion. As discussed previously, Petitioner
argued in this Section 2255 motion that his counsel was
ineffective because she failed to object to the drug weight
in the PSR. See Rec. Doc. 97 at 8. The Court
rejected this argument and explained that Petitioner's
counsel was not ineffective because the drug weight in the
PSR was supported by the factual basis; any objection would
have been futile. See Rec. Doc. 101 at 15-16. In the
instant motion, Petitioner argues that the drug amount in the
PSR was inaccurate because it was based on “pure
speculation by the government without valid support[ing]
facts.” Rec. Doc. 104 at 2.
allegation merely rehashes an argument that was considered
and rejected when the Court denied Petitioner's Section
2255 motion. See Rec. Doc. 101 at 15-16. Therefore,
Petitioner offers no basis for reconsideration under Rule
59(e). See Templet, 367 F.3d at 478-79. Also, as
previously explained, the drug weight is not based on
“pure speculation” because the factual basis,
which informed the PSR, identifies two shipments.
See Rec. Doc. 69 at 1-2. One was intercepted and
contained 437.1 grams of methamphetamine. See Id. at
2. The second package was not intercepted, but weighed over
one pound. See Id. The second package was sent from
Fresno, California, where the methamphetamine dealer was
located, to 229 Crozier Drive in Houma, Louisiana. See
Id. Petitioner was recorded, on at least one other
occasion, asking the methamphetamine dealer to mail
methamphetamine to Petitioner at the Crozier Drive address.
See Id. These facts support the conclusion that the
second package sent to Petitioner also contained
methamphetamine, which in turn supports the drug amount in
the PSR. See United States v. Harris, 702 F.3d 226,
230-31 (5th Cir. 2012) (“When making factual findings
for sentencing purposes, district courts may consider any
information which bears sufficient indicia of reliability to
support its probable accuracy. Generally, a PSR bears
sufficient indicia of reliability to be considered as
evidence by the sentencing judge in making factual
determinations.”) (internal citations omitted).
Petitioner has never argued, let alone offered any evidence,
that the factual allegations supporting the PSR's drug
weight are inaccurate. See Id. (“A district
court, therefore, may adopt the facts contained in a PSR
without further inquiry if those facts have an adequate
evidentiary basis with sufficient indicia of reliability and
the defendant does not present rebuttal evidence or otherwise
demonstrate that the information in the PSR is
unreliable.”) (internal citations and alterations
omitted). He knowingly and voluntarily pled guilty to the
offense he now seeks to qualify. Further, Petitioner was
asked if he agreed with the factual basis that contained the
drug quantity at issue and he expressly agreed to it and
signed it. Again, at sentencing he was given the opportunity
to express his position and voiced no concern about the drug
quantity attributable to him. His contention against counsel
is totally discredited.
 Insofar as Petitioner's motion for
reconsideration can be read to argue that the Court erred in
applying the sentencing guidelines, such an argument would
fail. “Misapplications of the Sentencing Guidelines . .
. are not cognizable in § 2255 motions.”