United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO WITHDRAW GUILTY PLEA
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 10, 2017, Defendant Samuel Albarran filed a motion to
withdraw his plea of guilty, which he entered before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Garfinkel on September 15, 2016. Mot. to
Withdraw Plea, ECF No. 643. For the reasons stated below, Mr.
Albarran's  motion is DENIED.
9, 2015, Defendant Samuel Albarran was indicted on charges of
participation in a heroin trafficking conspiracy. Indictment,
ECF No. 1. In Count One of the Indictment, Mr. Albarran was
charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with
intent to distribute between 100 grams and 1 kilogram of
heroin under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B)(i), which carries
a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment and
a maximum sentence of 40 years' imprisonment.
8, 2016, Mr. Albarran was named in a superseding indictment
charging him with three additional counts. Superseding
Indictment, ECF No. 337. In Count Seven of the superseding
indictment, Mr. Albarran was charged with unlawful possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g) and 924(a)(2), which carries a maximum
term of imprisonment of 10 years. Id. In Count Eight
of the superseding indictment, Mr. Albarran was separately
charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug
trafficking crime under 18 U.S.C. §§
924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 924(c)(2), which carries a mandatory
minimum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment, which is
required to run consecutively to the underlying drug
trafficking offense. Id. In Count Six of the
superseding indictment, Mr. Albarran was also charged with
possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine under
21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C) and 18
U.S.C. § 2.
Albarran initially entered a plea of not guilty on all
counts, and he was scheduled for a jury trial on September
20, 2016. Notice, ECF No. 374. The Court held a final
pre-trial conference on September 14, 2016. Minute Entry, ECF
No. 470. That same day, Mr. Albarran appeared before
Magistrate Judge Garfinkel, with counsel, to participate in a
hearing under Missouri v. Frye, 132 S.Ct. 1399
(2012), to evaluate the government's offer of disposition
as well as potential penalties if convicted at trial. Minute
Entry, ECF No. 642. The very next day, on September 15, 2016,
five calendar days before the scheduled jury trial, Mr.
Albarran again appeared before Magistrate Judge Garfinkel and
pled guilty to two counts of the superseding indictment.
Minute Entry, ECF No. 501.
the change of plea hearing, Mr. Albarran specifically
acknowledged his guilt with respect to the offense conduct.
The hearing transcript reflects the following exchange:
THE COURT: Could you ask a few follow-up questions just to
make sure, yet one more time, that we covered each of those
MR. DONOVAN: Okay. So, the allegations of the government were
essentially that your brother was running a drug operation
and that constituted a conspiracy, and was a conspiracy to
possess with intent to distribute heroin. And at some point
in some, I say, a minimal way, but in a way anyway, you
actually became involved in that; is that fair to say?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
MR. DONOVAN: And then in addition to that, they claim that
you had constructive possession over a firearm, and that that
firearm was used in furtherance of the drug conspiracy? This,
of course, has to do with the two firearms that were seized
at 501 Blatchley, you understand that, right?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
MR. DONOVAN: And you weren't living at 501 Blatchley?
THE DEFENDANT: No, I wasn't.
MR. DONOVAN: But nevertheless you did have -- your mom lived
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, she did.
MR. DONOVAN: And another brother was actually renting that