United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jeffrey Jones, seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
from his federal conviction and sentence. For the following
reasons, Mr. Jones' § 2255 motion will be denied.
January, 2012, a criminal complaint was issued against Mr.
Jones for conspiring with others to distribute and possess
with intent to distribute crack cocaine from 1990 to 2007. In
August, 2012, Mr. Jones waived his right to prosecution by
indictment and consented to prosecution by information. On
August 21, 2012, Mr. Jones and the government filed a plea
agreement with this Court. Among the things that Mr. Jones
agreed to in that plea agreement was the following:
Jeffrey Jones knows that he has, and voluntarily waives, the
right to file any appeal, and collateral attack, or any other
writ or motion, including but not limited to an appeal under
18 U.S.C. § 3742 or a motion under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, which challenges the sentence imposed by the sentencing
court if that sentence does not exceed a term of imprisonment
of 240 months and 12 years of supervised release.
(Dkt. No. 11-2 at p.7-8) Furthermore, on that same day, this
Court conducted a change of plea hearing. At the change of
plea hearing, the following colloquy took place between Mr.
Jones and this Court:
Q: Now in paragraph eight, you give up some very important
rights to appeal. Do you understand normally you'd have
the right to appeal or file a motion or a writ or in some way
attack any sentence that I impose upon you. Do you understand
Q: The government has rights to appeal or file motions or
writs regarding any sentence I impose. But under paragraph
eight, you're willing to give up these very important
rights to appeal or file a motion or a writ or in any way
challenge the sentence under a certain condition and that
condition is, that if I sentence you to a sentence of
imprisonment in accordance with this plea agreement, then
you're going to give up your rights to appeal or file a
motion or a writ. In other words, if I do agree to give you
240 months, that's it and you're never going to be
able to change that sentence. Do you understand that?
Q: Furthermore in this paragraph you agree that any of these
other stipulations are binding and you cannot appeal or file
a motion saying I was wrong to accept the stipulation because
you've agreed to it. Do you understand and agree with
(Dkt. No. 11-3 at p.24-25) Later on at the hearing, this
point was re-emphasized in a colloquy between the
government's attorney, the Court and Mr. Jones as
Q [Government Attorney]: Just one other thing, your Honor,
which is that I understand from speaking to counsel that in
addition to all the pretrial rights and this may have been
covered by the court, the defendant understands that he's
not going to be able to litigate. There's going to be no
further litigation either in this court if this plea is
accepted or in an Appellate Court of any issues that could
have been brought up pretrial like suppression, that he could
have filed a suppression motion or Speedy Trial motion or any
other motion that he understands that this is an
unconditional plea that waives all of those issues.
THE COURT: You know that.
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: If I accept this, it's over.
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: All right. You're not going to be able to
challenge anything about this prosecution or the sentence you
get. Do you understand that?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
(Dkt. No. 11-3 at p.39-40) This Court then deferred accepting
the guilty plea pending the completion of the pre-sentence
on February 13, 2013, this Court accepted Mr. Jones'
guilty plea on one count of conspiracy to distribute and
possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of
crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment to
be followed by twelve years of supervised release. Mr. Jones
did not file a direct appeal.
Jones filed his § 2255 motion on July 22, 2014 pursuant
to the prisoner mailbox rule. See Houston v. Lack,
487 U.S. 266, 270-71 (1988); Maples v. Warren, No.
12-0993, 2012 WL 1344828, at *1 n. 2 (D.N.J. Apr. 16, 2012)
(“Often times, when the court is unable to determine
the exact date that a petitioner handed his petition to
prison officials for mailing, it will look to the signed and
dated certification of the petition.”). However, his
original motion was administratively terminated because it
was not filed on the proper form. Subsequently, this Court
received petitioner's § 2255 motion on the proper
form on August 21, 2014.
Jones' § 2255 motion raises the following
1. The government committed reversible discovery error by not
handing over all exculpatory and impeachment material
evidence to Mr. Jones within fourteen days of his arraignment
2. Reversible error occurred when the court applied an extra
ten-year sentencing enhancement to him that was not proven
beyond a ...