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United States v. Zoran

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

November 8, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Joseph Robert Zoran, Defendant-Petitioner.

James E. Lackner, United States Attorney's Office, 316 North Robert Street, Suite 404, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101; and Nicole A. Engisch, United States Attorney's Office, 300 South 4th Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415, for Plaintiff-Respondent.

Douglas Olson, Office of the Federal Defender, 300 South 4th Street, Suite 107, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415, for Defendant-Petitioner.

AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge on Defendant-Petitioner Joseph Robert Zoran's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence. The Government opposes the motion. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant-Petitioner's motion is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

In November 2004, Defendant-Petitioner pled guilty in federal court (Case No. 04-cr-355) to one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B) and § 2252A(b)(2). (See Plea Agreement & Sentencing Stips. ¶ 2 [Doc. No. 27]; Minutes of Proceedings, dated Nov. 12, 2004 [Doc. No. 26].) He failed to appear at the sentencing hearing. After he was apprehended, Defendant-Petitioner pled guilty (Case No. 05-cr-118) to one count of failure to appear in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3146(a)(1). (See Indictment [Doc. No. 1]; Minutes of Plea Hearing, dated Nov. 7, 2005 [Doc. No. 15].)

The sentencing for both convictions occurred on November 7, 2005, in front of then- U.S. District Court Chief Judge James M. Rosenbaum. At the hearing, Chief Judge Rosenbaum stated: "I am sentencing [Defendant] to 24 months on the pornography charge and 13 months on Count - on the additional count to be served consecutively.... It is thereafter ordered that [Defendant] serve a term of supervised release of three years." (Tr., Crim. Nos. 04-355 & 05-118, Nov. 7, 2005, at 16:16-17:7 [Doc. No. 81 in 04-cr-355 & Doc. No. 50 in 05-cr-118].) The court minutes that were entered in each case following the sentencing hearing state: "Defendant sentenced in 04-355 and 05-118. Term of [s]upervised release for both cases but defendant shall serve only one 3 year term." (Sentencing Court Minutes, 04-cr-355 [Doc. No. 46]; Sentencing Court Minutes, 05-cr-118 [Doc. No. 16].) Thereafter, a judgment was entered in each case, stating the following in regard to supervised release: "Upon release from imprisonment, the defendant shall be on supervised release for a term of 3 years." (Judgment in a Criminal Case, Nov. 7, 2005, at 3 [Doc. No. 47 in 04-cr-355 & Doc. No. 17 in 05-cr-118].)

After completing his prison sentence, Defendant-Petitioner began serving his supervised release sentence. However, the Court revoked Defendant-Petitioner's supervised release after he admitted to violating the terms. At Defendant-Petitioner's revocation hearing on February 2, 2009, Chief Judge Rosenbaum sentenced him to imprisonment for 18 months in 04-cr-355 and 1 month in 05-cr-118, "to be served consecutively." (Judgment in a Criminal Case, Feb. 2, 2009, at 2 [Doc. No. 60 in 04-cr-355 & Doc. No. 28 in 05-cr-118] (emphasis omitted).) The Court also imposed a supervised release sentence of 18 months in 04-cr-355 and 35 months in 05-cr-118, "to be served concurrently." (Id. at 3 (emphasis omitted).)

After Defendant-Petitioner completed his post-revocation prison sentence, he began serving the post-revocation supervised release sentence. However, Defendant-Petitioner again violated the terms of his supervised release. On September 30, 2011, the undersigned U.S. District Court Judge revoked Defendant-Petitioner's supervised release and sentenced him to imprisonment for 6 months in 04-cr-355 and 18 months in 05-cr-118, "to be served consecutively." (Judgment in a Criminal Case, Sept. 30, 2011, at 2 [Doc. No. 74 in 04-cr-355 & Doc. No. 43 in 05-cr-118] (emphasis omitted).) The Court also imposed a supervised release sentence of 18 months in 05-cr-118. (Id. at 3.) Defendant-Petitioner appealed this sentence to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. See United States v. Zoran , 682 F.3d 1060, 1061 (8th Cir. 2012). With the exception of remanding the case for the purpose of reducing the supervised release term from 18 months to 17 months, the Eighth Circuit upheld Defendant-Petitioner's sentence. See id. at 1065 n.7.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Claims

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a),

[a] prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to ...

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