United States v. Moreno

No. CIV.A. H-03-5460, 2007 WL 484597 (2007)

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United States v. Moreno

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
No. CIV.A. H-03-5460, 2007 WL 484597 (2007)

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Facts

Luis Moreno (defendant) pled guilty to participating in a narcotics conspiracy and money laundering after he and his brothers were arrested for trafficking millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana from Mexico throughout the United States. During Moreno’s re-arraignment hearing, the judge engaged in a guilty-plea colloquy, during which she asked Moreno if he understood the charges against him, confirmed that he wanted to plead guilty, and discussed the federal sentencing guidelines. The judge described the facts surrounding Moreno’s arrest, and Moreno confirmed that he had trafficked drugs with his brothers. The judge also advised Moreno that his crimes could result in a mandatory minimum sentence and that he could also be sentenced to life in prison. She informed him that he would not be able to withdraw his guilty plea at his sentencing hearing. Moreno confirmed that he understood. Moreno was sentenced to life imprisonment and filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, arguing that his guilty plea was invalid because he did not know that his sentence would consider what he believed to be multiple conspiracies by his brothers, but rather, he understood at the time he pled guilty that only his conduct would be considered during his sentencing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stacy, J.)

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