United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Benson, United States District Judge.
the Court is Petitioner Jacques Miranda's Motion to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. Having considered the motion and pleadings,
having reviewed the file, and being otherwise fully informed,
the court enters the following Memorandum Decision and Order.
March 2, 2017, the United States filed a Complaint against
Petitioner for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to
Distribute, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1). (No.
2:17-cr-159, Dkt. No. 1.) On March 6, 2017, Petitioner made
his initial appearance, and Benjamin Hamilton of the Federal
Public Defenders Office was appointed to be his counsel. (No.
2:17-cr-159, Dkt. Nos. 3 and 4.) On March 15, 2017, a federal
grand jury returned an Indictment against Petitioner alleging
one count of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to
Distribute, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1). (No.
2:17-cr-159, Dkt. No. 9.) Count I of the Indictment alleged
that Petitioner knowingly and intentionally possessed with
intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
8, 2017, pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure, Petitioner entered into a plea agreement whereby
he pled guilty to a Superseding Information, (Case No.
2:17-cr-159, Dkt. No. 17, ) alleging possession with intent
to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance
containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. §
2, and punishable pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §841(b)(1)(B).
In exchange for his plea, the government and the court agreed
with Plaintiff that his sentence would be 84 months of
imprisonment with 48 months of supervised release to follow,
under standard and special conditions. (No. 2:17-cr-159, Dkt.
plea and sentencing hearing, Petitioner waived his right to
prosecution by indictment in open court pursuant to Federal
Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(b). (No. 2:17-cr-159, Dkt. No.
18.) Petitioner's 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement included an
appeal waiver, which prohibited him from appealing or
challenging his sentence, except with respect to the
ineffective assistance of counsel. (No. 2:17-cr-159, Dkt. No.
3, 2018, Petitioner filed a timely Motion to Vacate, Set
Aside, or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
2255, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. (Dkt. No.
1.) On May 7, 2018, Petitioner filed an Addendum to his
§2255 motion. (Dkt. No. 2.) The government responded to
Petitioner's Motion on July 6, 2018. (Dkt. No. 4.)
March 1, 2017, Petitioner was traveling to Salt Lake City
from Los Angeles through Las Vegas. Based on information
submitted by confidential informants, an investigation of
several law enforcement agencies, and cell phone location
data acquired pursuant to two warrants, an attempt to
locate (ATL) was issued with respect to Petitioner. The ATL
identified Petitioner's vehicle and notified law
enforcement that Petitioner was suspected to be transporting
narcotics. The ATL further instructed law enforcement to
obtain independent probable cause prior to making a traffic
was first stopped pursuant to the ATL in the afternoon of
March 1, 2017, by Utah Highway Patrol in Nephi, Utah. The
trooper observed Petitioner, noted that he was
confrontational, but gave Petitioner a warning rather than a
citation, and did not question or search Petitioner.
Petitioner continued to travel toward Salt Lake City.
approximately 7:00 PM that evening, Utah State Troopers
Barret and Rowley observed Petitioner's vehicle entering
Salt Lake City. The troopers followed Petitioner's
vehicle off the freeway and through downtown Salt Lake City.
As Petitioner's vehicle passed through downtown Salt Lake
City, the troopers observed the vehicle fail to signal as it
switched lanes, and they initiated a traffic stop. While the
Troopers issued a traffic citation, K-9 officers and
Petitioner's parole officer were contacted.
officers and Petitioner's parole officer arrived shortly
thereafter. The first K-9 officer to arrive was unable to
allow his dog to sniff around the vehicle, per department
policy, as Petitioner declined to exit his vehicle. Parole
officers arrived thereafter and began to search the vehicle.
When one of the parole officers requested access to the trunk
of the vehicle, Petitioner stated that it was inaccessible. A
second K-9 officer then arrived; the dog sniffed the vehicle
and indicated in the trunk area. Trooper Rowley then used
Petitioner's key to open the trunk. Inside of the trunk
in a black pelican box, the officers discovered one pound of
methamphetamine. Petitioner was placed under arrest and taken
to the State Bureau of Investigation for questioning.
time of the ATL and stop, Petitioner was a parolee of the
State of Utah. Utah law requires that “[a]n inmate who
is eligible for release on parole shall, as a condition of
parole, sign an agreement…that the inmate…is
subject to search or seizure of the inmate's person,
property, place of temporary or permanent residence, vehicle
or personal effects while on parole: (a) by a parole officer
at any time, with or without a search warrant, and with or
without cause; and (b) by a law enforcement officer at any
time, with or without a search warrant, and with or without
cause….” Utah Code § 77-23-301.
with Utah law, on November 17, 2015, Petitioner signed a
parole agreement. Above his signature, Petitioner affirmed:
“I have read, understand and agree to be bound by this