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Cavienss v. United States

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 15, 2020

STANLEY ARON CAVIENSS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE

          Victor A. Bolden United States District Judge.

         Stanley Aron Cavienss (“Petitioner”), currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, and proceeding pro se, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging his conviction and sentence. Mot. to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence, ECF No. 1 (Nov. 9, 2018).

         For the following reasons, Petitioner's motion is DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Indictment [1]

         On June 7, 2016, Mr. Cavienss was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine (Count One); conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin (Count Two); and the use, carrying, and possession of a firearm during and in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking felony (Count Six). See Indictment, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 12 (June 7, 2016). Count One carried a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 40 years' imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B). Count Two carried a sentence of up to 20 years' imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Count Six carried a statutory mandatory minimum of five years' imprisonment, to be served consecutively to the sentence for any other offense. See 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), (c)(1)(D) (providing that the sentence under this section cannot “run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed on the person”).

         On June 9, 2016, Mr. Cavienss initially entered a plea of not guilty on all counts. Minute Entry, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 46 (June 9, 2016).

         B. Guilty Plea and Attempt to Withdraw Guilty Plea

         On July 13, 2016, the Court held a change of plea and motion hearing, where Mr. Cavienss entered a plea of guilty on Counts One and Two. Minute Entry, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 102 (July 13, 2016). The same day, Mr. Cavienss entered into a plea agreement with the Government. Plea Agreement, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 103 (July 13, 2016). Appearing before the Court at this hearing were Mr. Cavienss, his then-counsel Walter Bansley, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Kaplan. See Plea Trans. 1, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 327-4 (June 1, 2017).

         On November 10, 2016, the Court held a hearing in response to Mr. Cavienss's motion for Mr. Bansley to withdraw as his counsel, and for Dan LaBelle to replace him. See Minute Entry, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 143 (Nov. 10, 2016). At this hearing, Mr. Cavienss expressed an interest in withdrawing his guilty plea.

         On February 14, 2017, Mr. Cavienss filed a motion to continue the sentencing, in part to “investigate the possibility of filing a motion to withdraw the guilty plea.” See Mot. to Continue, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 207 (Feb. 14, 2017).

         On March 15, 2017, the Court informed Mr. Cavienss that he should file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea or a related notice within thirty days of receiving the change of plea hearing transcript. Docket Entry, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 238 (Mar. 15, 2017).

         On April 3, 2017, the transcript of the change of plea proceeding was filed on the docket. Transcript, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 259 (Apr. 3, 2017).

         On May 17, 2017, the Court noted that Mr. Cavienss had yet to file any motion to withdraw his guilty plea or related notice and ordered that Mr. Cavienss file such a motion by June 2, 2017. Order, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 320 (May 17, 2017).

         On June 1, 2017, Mr. Cavienss filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Mot. to Withdraw Guilty Plea, No. 3:16-cr-00114-6 (VAB), ECF No. 327 (June 1, 2017).

         On July 7, 2017, the Court held a hearing on Mr. Cavienss's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Minute Entry, No. ...


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