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. Taylor

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

August 26, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR, Petitioner.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          M. HANNAH LAUCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Justin Eugene Taylor, a federal inmate proceeding with counsel, brings this successive motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Motion," ECF No. 76). Taylor contends that his firearm conviction and sentence are invalid under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The Government filed a Motion to Dismiss the § 2255 Motion, contending that the relevant statute of limitations bars relief. (ECF No. 81.) The Court subsequently ordered further briefing. In its Supplemental Memorandum, the Government argues, inter alia, that Taylor's claim lacks merit.[1] (ECF No. 89.) Taylor filed his Reply. (ECF No. 92.) As discussed below, the Court finds that Taylor's claim lacks merit and may be dismissed on that ground.

         I. Procedural History

         On February 4, 2009, a grand jury charged Taylor with: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute marijuana (Count One); attempted distribution of marijuana (Count Two); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count Three); use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, to wit, attempting to distribute marijuana as charged in Count Two (Count Four); conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence ("Hobbs Act robbery") (Count Five); one count of attempting to aid and abet Hobbs Act robbery (Count Six); and, use and carry of a firearm in furtherance of a felony crime of violence, to wit, "conspiracy to interfere with commerce by armed robbery as charged in Count Five and Interference with Commerce by Threats and Force as charged in Count Six," in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count Seven). (Sec. Super. Indictment 1-4, ECF No. 17.) On February 13, 2009, Taylor pled guilty to Counts Five and Seven of the Second Superseding Indictment. (Plea Agreement ¶ 1, ECF No. 31.) The Government agreed to dismiss the other five counts. (Id. ¶ 12.)

         In the Statement of Facts supporting his guilty plea to Counts Five and Seven, Taylor agreed that following facts were true:

Starting before January 1, 2012, and continuing through December 14, 2003, and thereafter, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. In furtherance of this conspiracy, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR and others, known and unknown, would obtain wholesale quantities of marijuana and distribute the marijuana to coconspirators for redistribution. Also, in furtherance of this conspiracy, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR and others would arrange wholesale marijuana transactions and, rather than complete the transaction, would take the money from the customer, intentionally fail to distribute the marijuana to the customer, and use the money to finance their own drug trafficking business.
Prior to August 14, 2003, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR met with Martin Sylvester and Jonathan Hartzell. During that meeting JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR discussed his ability to supply Martin Sylvester with marijuana for redistribution and exchanged cell phone numbers with Sylvester.
On August 14, 2003, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR arranged to meet Martin Sylvester for the purpose of distributing marijuana to Sylvester so that Sylvester could redistribute the marijuana to others. Per their arrangements, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR met Martin Sylvester and Jonathan Hartzell at the residence of a mutual acquaintance. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR was driven in his car to the residence by his Coconspirator, who dropped off JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR without being seen. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR met with Sylvester and Hartzell at the residence and then rode in Hartzell's car with Hartzell and Sylvester to the area of Hanover Avenue and North Lombardy Street, in the City of Richmond, Virginia, in order to obtain marijuana for Sylvester. Upon arriving at that area, JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR asked Sylvester for the money to pay for the marijuana, but Sylvester refused to give the money to JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR until he saw the marijuana. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR left Hartzell's vehicle in order to obtain the marijuana, however, he was unable to do so.
JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR contacted his Coconspirator and the two of them devised a plan to steal the money that Sylvester had to purchase the marijuana. Pursuant to that plan, the Coconspirator, who was armed with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, would pose as the drug dealer, meet with Sylvester and demand to see the purchase money. Upon Sylvester showing Coconspirator the money, the plan was for the Conspirator to take the money by force and flee the area with JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR, in JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR'S car. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR did not explicitly plan or agree to kill Martin Scott Silvester [sic].
Pursuant to this plan, the Coconspirator went to the alleyway located between Hanover and Grove Avenues, and North Lombardy and North Vine Streets. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR called Sylvester and told him to meet the man in the alleyway to obtain the marijuana. JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR then went to his car to wait for the Coconspirator.
The Coconspirator met Sylvester in the alleyway, displayed the 9mm semiautomatic pistol and demanded Sylvester's marijuana purchase money. Martin Sylvester resisted, the pistol discharged and Martin Sylvester was fatally shot. Martin Sylvester died the next day from a gunshot wound.
The Coconspirator fled to JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR'S care and the Conspirator and JUSTIN EUGENE TAYLOR fled the area.

(Statement of Facts ¶¶ 1-7 (paragraph numbers omitted).)[2]

         On May 24, 2009, the Court entered judgment against Taylor and sentenced him to 240 months of imprisonment on Count Five, and 120 months of imprisonment on Count Seven, to run ...


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.