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Haney v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

March 6, 2017

RICHARD HANEY, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          AUDREY G FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Richard Haney's pro se motion filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. On August 29, 2012, Petitioner pled guilty to possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B). On February 8, 2013, this Court sentenced petitioner to 40 months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. United States v. Haney, Case No. 4:12-CR-00049-AGF.

         Petitioner now moves to set aside his conviction and sentence, claiming (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction over his crimes; (2) his lifetime term of supervised release constitutes double jeopardy and is excessive; and (3) the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA"), 42 U.S.C. § 16901, et seq., under which Petitioner must register as a sex offender, is unconstitutional. As the record before the Court conclusively demonstrates that Petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Court will deny Petitioner's motion without a hearing.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 8, 2012, Petitioner was charged with possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B). Petitioner was arrested on February 16, 2012, and the next day, the Court appointed Assistant Federal Public Defender Michael Dwyer to represent Petitioner. On Petitioner's motion, a mental competency hearing was held on June 27, 2012, and the Court determined that Petitioner was mentally competent to stand trial, and was able to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings and assist properly in his own defense.

         On August 29, 2012, Petitioner and the government entered into a plea agreement pursuant to which Petitioner would plead guilty to the count in the indictment and the government would pursue no further federal prosecution in this District related to Petitioner's possession of child pornography between April 2010 and December 2010, of which the government was then aware.

         The plea agreement stated that Petitioner fully understood that the charge to which he was pleading guilty carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250, 000, or both such imprisonment and fine, as well as a period of supervised release of up to life and not less than five years. The agreement provided that either party could request a sentence above or below the United States Sentencing Guidelines range ultimately determined by the Court.

         In the plea agreement, Petitioner acknowledged that special conditions could be imposed with respect to supervised release, including prohibiting Petitioner from possessing a computer, prohibiting Petitioner from contacting minors without authorization of his probation officer, and requiring Petitioner to participate in sex offender counseling. Petitioner further agreed that, as a condition of supervised release, he would be required to register with the state sex offender registry in Missouri and in any state where he resided, worked, or was a student, and would have to comply with all federal and state sex offender registration laws.

         As part of the plea agreement, Petitioner stipulated to the following facts:

On December 16, 2010, officer Of America s secured a valid search warrant for [Petitioner's apartment] and for any computer system or digital media contained within the apartment.
On December 16, 2010, officers properly executed the search warrant at [Petitioner's apartment]. The defendant answered the door and confirmed his identity as Richard Haney. Officers advised the defendant that they had a search warrant and were looking for child pornography. The officers then gave the defendant his Miranda rights and the defendant agreed to be interviewed. The defendant acknowledged that he was using a Peer-2-Peer software program called “Shareaza” and that he had child pornography, including several videos, on his computer. He then admitted that he had 20 to 30 child pornography videos on his computer and stated that he knew that it was illegal. The defendant was again given his rights after the search and interviewed at the St. Louis Police Department. At that interview the defendant admitted to actively searching for child pornography as well as downloading it to his computer. He also admitted deleting child pornography so that he could free up additional disc space.
The computer was submitted for a forensic examination by a qualified forensic examiner and the examination revealed that the defendant's computer and hard drives contained . . . 44 videos and 57 graphic files containing child pornography. Some of the videos and images contained sadistic or masochistic abuse of the underage victims. Some of the victims were under the age of twelve.
. . .
These materials were contained on a Western Digital hard drive that was produced outside the State of Missouri and traveled in interstate commerce. The defendant possessed more than 600 images of child pornography in that each ...

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