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Jones v. United States

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 10, 2019

LEONARD T. JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES, Defendant.

          RULING ON PETITION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Leonard T. Jones (“Petitioner”), currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman, and proceeding pro se, moved to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence, ECF No. 1 (“Mot.”). In response, the United States (or “Government”) filed a response to Mr. Jones's motion. Government's Response to Petitioner's § 2255 Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence, ECF No. 5 (“Gov't. Mem. in Opp'n.”).

         For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Mr. Jones' motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Indictment and Jury Verdict

         On December 20, 2001, the Government charged Leonard Jones with multiple federal crimes in connection with a drug trafficking enterprise (“Jones Organization”). United States v. Jones, 99-cr-264 (PCD), Fifth Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 813. At trial, the Government's evidence showed that the Jones Organization was “a relatively structured RICO enterprise, conducted over a substantial period of time.” United States v. Jones, 482 F.3d 60, 70 (2d Cir. 2006). After a seven-week trial, in front of U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey, a jury found Leonard Jones, and a number of other criminal defendants, guilty of multiple felonies. United States v. Jones, 296 Fed.Appx. 179, 180 (2d Cir. 2008) (summary order).

         On September 3, 2003, Judge Dorsey sentenced Mr. Jones sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for Racketeering in Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), RICO Conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), Conspiracy to Distribute and Distribution of More than 1, 000 Grams of Heroin and 50 Grams of Cocaine under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and Conspiracy to Murder under 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5). Id.; United States v. Jones, 99-cr-264 (PCD), Judgment as to Leonard Troy Jones, ECF No. 1493.

         B. Direct Appeal and Subsequent Remand

         On appeal to the Second Circuit, Mr. Jones argued that his sentence was “imposed pursuant to a mandatory application of the Sentencing Guidelines and therefore in violation of United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).” Jones, 296 Fed.Appx. at 184. The Second Circuit, relying on United States v. Crosby, 397 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2005), remanded Jones's case “for consideration by the District Court of whether [he] should be resentenced in light of Booker.” Id.

         On August 4, 2009, Mr. Jones moved for re-sentencing based on his advanced age and an alleged sentencing disparity among the other defendants in the case. United States v. Jones, 99-cr-264 (PCD), Memorandum in Support of Resentencing, ECF No. 2308.

         On October 5, 2009, Judge Dorsey held that there was “no reasonable basis for imposing a non-trivial reduced sentence for which defendant has moved.” Id., United States v. Jones, No. 99-cr-706, Memorandum of Decision, ECF No. 2315. Accordingly, while Judge Dorsey ultimately granted the motion for reconsideration, Mr. Jones's sentence was not reduced. Id.

         C. Section 2255 Petition

         On May 5, 2016, Mr. Jones moved to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence and argued that his sentence violated his Sixth Amendment rights under Booker and Crosby. Mot., at 5.

         On May 20, 2016, the Court issued an Order to Show Cause regarding Mr. Jones's ...


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