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Sonni v. United States

November 22, 2010

PAUL SONNI, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irenas, Senior District Judge

OPINION

Before the Court is Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons set forth below, this Court will deny Petitioner's Motion.

I.

On July 22, 2008, Paul Sonni ("Petitioner") pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to a one-count information for conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Petitioner's plea agreement included, inter alia, a waiver of his right to file a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 if his sentence was at or below the range that results from a Guidelines offense level of 29. On July 21, 2009, this Court sentenced Petitioner to 78 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. The agreed-upon Guidelines offense level of 29 called for imprisonment between 87 to 108 months.

On July 16, 2010, Petitioner mailed the instant Motion, which was filed with the Court on July 26, 2010.

II.

Section 2255 provides, in pertinent part, that:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255; see also Rules Governing § 2255 Cases, Rule 1(a). Thus, Petitioner is entitled to relief only if he can establish that he is in custody in violation of federal law or the Constitution.

III.

Petitioner seeks to vacate his federal sentence on the grounds that his counsel was constitutionally deficient by failing to ask the Court to consider the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(6) as to avoid sentence disparities among defendants wherein in a similar case a U.S. citizen who is equally culpable of the same offense and received identical assigned guideline base offense level serves less time in prison because he is eligible to serve a portion of his sentence at a...minimum facility, in halfway house, and eligible to a sentence reduction upon the successful completion of drug and alcohol programs [sic].*fn1

(Pet.'s Memo at 5)

The United States opposes Petitioner's ยง 2255 Motion, arguing that Petitioner waived his right to collaterally attack his sentence in a plea agreement ...


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