Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Washington

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

October 27, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DWANE WASHINGTON, Petitioner.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Dwane Washington, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, brings this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Motion, " ECF No. 137). The Government has moved to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the § 2255 Motion will be DENIED.

         I. Procedural History

         "A grand jury charged Washington with the interstate transportation of a minor with the intent that the minor engage in prostitution or other criminal sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a)." United States v. Washington, 743 F.3d 938, 940 (4th Cir. 2014). Following a jury trial, Washington was convicted of the charge. Id. The Court sentenced Mr. Washington to a variant sentence of 240 months of imprisonment. Id. at 944. Mr. Washington appealed. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit summarized the evidence of Mr. Washington's guilt as follows:

In the spring of 2012, Washington, then thirty-two years old, met R.C., a fourteen-year-old runaway. Washington approached R.C. on a street in Maryland, where she had already begun engaging in prostitution and using drugs. Almost immediately, he became her pimp. At some point, R.C. told Washington that she was nineteen years old. Washington took R.C. to Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee; Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama; and Richmond, Virginia. In each city, Washington used the internet to advertise R.C. as a prostitute. He developed a pricing scale and kept nearly all of the proceeds, which he used to pay for food, lodging, travel, and drugs. Washington also had sex with R.C. on multiple occasions.
In Birmingham, R.C. was arrested and charged with prostitution. She gave the police a false name and date of birth, claiming that she was nineteen years old.
Washington and R.C. were later arrested in Richmond in an FBI sting operation. During an interview with an FBI agent, R.C. confirmed that Washington was her pimp.

Id. at 940.

         In the § 2255 Motion, Mr. Washington, who was represented by Charles Gavin at trial, asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel upon the following grounds:

Claim 1 Counsel failed to adequately prepare Mr. Washington to testify during Mr. Washington's trial. (§ 2255 Mot. 4.)[1]
Claim 2 Counsel's inadequate preparation for trial caused counsel:
(a) to allow a Government witness to testify who did not want to testify, (id. at 5);
(b) to not exploit the memory lapse by Mr. May; (id); and,
(c) to take advantage of the fact that the victim did not wish to testify against Mr. Washington, (id.).
Claim 3 (a) In his opening statement counsel told the jury that Mr. Washington had just been released from jail. (Id. at 7.)
(b) During Mr. Daniel's testimony, counsel stated, "I understand what is happening here, but..." (Id.)
Claim 4 Counsel failed to spend an adequate amount of time with Mr. Washington prior to trial. (Id. at 8.)
Claim 11 Counsel failed to file a motion to suppress with respect to Mr. Washington's cell phone. (Id. at 13.)
Claim 12 Counsel failed to call a witness. (Id. at 14.)
Claim 14 Appellate counsel failed to communicate with Mr. Washington and failed to raise on appeal the issues Mr. Washington wished to pursue. (Id.)

         Additionally, Mr. Washington contends that the prosecution engaged in multiple instances of misconduct. Mr. Washington asserts he was unable to raise this misconduct on his direct appeal due to the ineffective assistance of his appellate counsel. The defaulted issues of alleged prosecutorial misconduct were as follows:

Claim 5 "The Government went to great lengths to keep the defense from exploring into the juvenile's sexual life prior to the day she ran away." (Id. at 10.)
Claim 6 "The Government compelled witnesses in this case to testify against their will by subpoena, and used the threat of prosecution for failing to appear." (Id.)
Claim 7 The Government manufactured a conflict of interest in order to have Mr. Washington's initial counsel, Carolyn Grady, replaced. (Id., at 11.)
Claim 8 The Government failed to prove an element of the crime. (Id.)
Claim 10 The prosecution threatened one of Mr. Washington's witnesses, Josh Gahan, in order to induce Gahan ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.