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United States v. Little

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 26, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
TORRY LITTLE, Petitioner. Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-312

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES R. SPENCER, Senior District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on pro se Petitioner Torry Little's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody ("§ 2255 Motion") (ECF No. 34). For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES the § 2255 Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

a. Factual Background

According to the Statement of Facts (ECF No. 19), on or about April 23, 2012, Defendant, Torry Little ("Little"), did knowingly, unlawfully, and intentionally possess with the intent to distribute: (1) five-hundred grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine hydrochloride, and (2) five grams or more of actual methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers.

On January 9 and 20, 2012, the Central Virginia Regional Task Force utilized a Confidential Source ("CS") to make a controlled purchase of cocaine hydrochloride from Little in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. On April 23, 2012, law enforcement officers executed a state search warrant for Little's residence located at 4608 Woodstream Drive, Petersburg, Virginia. Inside Little's bedroom, law enforcement recovered $163.00 on the left side of the dresser; a large plastic bag with a white powdery substance located in the second drawer of the dresser; a plastic bag containing white powder located inside of a clothes bin near the foot of the bed; a plastic baggie containing an off-white crystal substance and a plastic baggie containing an off-white powdery substance located in the head of a stuffed animal on top of the television; an OMC.380 caliber pistol, loaded with five rounds of ammunition located between the mattress and the box spring; a blue shoebox containing plastic bags and cutting agents located under the bed; and $13, 055 located in a clothes cabinet.

The total amount of controlled substances recovered was: 1, 231 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, 31.2 grams of actual methamphetamine, and 7 grams of methamphetamine. Moreover, the $13, 218 in proceeds converts to 300 grams of cocaine hydrochloride at current market price.

b. Procedural Background

On February 5, 2013, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia returned a two-count indictment against Little charging him with (1) possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(ii) (count one); and (2) possession with the intent to distribute 5 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(ii) (count two). (ECF No. 1.) Counts one and two both carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of forty years in prison. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B).

On May 9, 2013, Little entered into a plea agreement with the United States wherein he would plead guilty to counts one and two of the indictment. (ECF No. 18.) Little subsequently pleaded guilty before this Court, pursuant to a written plea agreement and accompanying statement of facts. (ECF Nos. 18, 19.) On August 7, 2013, this Court sentenced Little to 132 months' imprisonment on counts one and two, to run concurrently, four years' supervised release, and a $200 special assessment. (ECF No. 33.) Little did not appeal this sentence.

On April 29, 2014, Little filed the instant § 2255 Motion. In his § 2255 Motion, Little alleges two grounds for relief:

Ground One: Ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to object to the § 924(c) enhancement[1] pursuant to the Supreme Court's ruling in Alleyne
Ground Two: The district court used judicial fact finding to impose a mandatory minimum sentence in violation of Alleyne

The United States filed a response in opposition on May 7, 2014 (ECF No. 37) and provided Little with Roseboro Notice (ECF No. 38). Little did not file ...


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