United States District Court, D. New Mexico
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED
MATTER is before the Court on the Motion Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a
Person in Federal Custody filed by Ramiro Saenz
(“Defendant”). Doc. 54. On July 18,
2017, this matter was referred to the undersigned to conduct
hearings, if warranted, including evidentiary hearings, and
to perform any legal analysis required to recommend to the
Court an ultimate disposition of this habeas action. See
Doc. 58; 28 U.S.C. § 636; Rule 10, Rules
Governing Habeas Corpus under Section 2255. I find that
an evidentiary hearing is unnecessary because it is possible
to resolve the issues on the pleadings, and the record
establishes conclusively that Defendant is not entitled to
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); Rule 8(a),
Rules Governing Habeas Corpus under Section 2255.
Having reviewed the submissions of the parties and the
relevant law, and being otherwise fully advised, the Court
recommends that Defendant's § 2255 Motion be denied.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 12, 2015, Defendant pled guilty to an Indictment
charging a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and
924(a)(2), which prohibits felons from possessing firearms
and ammunition. Doc. 36 (Plea Agreement) at 2. In
entering into this agreement Defendant admitted to the
On or about August 21, 2014, in Doña Ana County, in
the District of New Mexico, I possessed a Davis Industries,
model P380, .380 caliber handgun, serial number AP482560;
approximately thirty-five (35) rounds of .380 caliber
ammunition; approximately forty-four (44) rounds of .38
special ammunition; and approximately seventeen (17) rounds
of Winchester .380 ammunition. I had previously been
convicted of possession or a firearm or destructive device by
a felon, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, and
felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The firearm
and ammunition I possessed traveled in interstate commerce
before I possessed them.
Id. at 4. In exchange for Defendant's plea of
guilty, the government agreed to recommend a three-level
reduction for acceptance of responsibility and a two-level
downward variance to the sentencing judge. Id. at 5.
agreement, however, made explicit that these
“stipulations” were not binding on the
The defendant understands that the above stipulations are not
binding on the Court and that whether the Court accepts these
stipulations is a matter solely within the discretion of the
Court after it has reviewed the presentence report. Further,
the defendant understands that the Court may choose to vary
from the advisory guideline sentence. The defendant
understands that if the Court does not accept any one or more
of the above stipulations and reaches an advisory guideline
sentence different than accepted by the defendant, or if the
Court varies from the advisory guideline range, the defendant
will not seek to withdraw the defendant's plea of guilty.
In other words, regardless of any stipulations the parties
may enter into, the defendant's final sentence is solely
within the discretion of the Court.
Id. at 5-6 (emphasis added). Defendant further
agreed that his “plea of guilty [was] freely and
voluntarily made” and that “[t]here have been no
representations or promises from anyone as to what sentence
the Court will impose.” Id. at 7. The import
of this provision was made clear by Magistrate Judge Gregory
B. Wormuth, who accepted Defendant's plea:
THE COURT: What you have to understand about both of those
agreements, and really everything that's under the
stipulation section, is that those are simply agreements you
have with the prosecutor, you know, with the U.S.
THE DEFENDANT: Right. Right.
THE COURT: So, you know, if you go to your sentencing, you
know, judge, it's possible that he or she could refuse to
give you those reductions. And if that happened, you
wouldn't be allowed to withdraw your guilty plea.
Do you understand that?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
Doc. 57-1 (Transcript of Plea Hearing) at 11-12.
agreement, Defendant also agreed to waive his appellate
rights, and the right to collaterally attack his conviction,
pursuant to the following language:
The defendant is aware that 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and 18
U.S.C. § 3742 afford a defendant the right to appeal a
conviction and the sentence imposed. Acknowledging that, the
defendant knowingly waives the right to appeal the
defendant's conviction(s) and any sentence, including any
fine, at or under the maximum statutory penalty authorized by
law, as well as any order of restitution entered by the
Court. In addition, the defendant agrees to waive any
collateral attack to the defendant's conviction(s) and
any sentence, including any fine, pursuant to 28 ...