United States District Court, D. Minnesota
K. Bell, Assistant United States Attorney, United States
Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of
Samuel Trejo, pro se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge
for a ruling on Defendant Carlos Samuel Trejo's
(“Trejo”) Motion to Vacate, set aside, or correct
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [Criminal Docket No. 97]
(“2255 Motion”). For the reasons below,
Trejo's Motion is denied.
April 7, 2014, Trejo was charged by Indictment [Docket No. 1]
with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A).
The charge carried a 120-month mandatory minimum sentence.
to trial, Trejo filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained
by Search or Seizure [Docket No. 20]. Trejo challenged the
legality of the December 23, 2013 search warrant sought to
suppress methamphetamine, a firearm, and other items of
contraband seized from a room where Trejo was staying.
See Mem. Supp. Mot. Suppress [Docket No. 35].
21, 2014, Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung recommended that
Trejo's Motion be denied. R&R [Docket No. 41]. Trejo
filed an Objection [Docket No. 42] to the R&R,
maintaining his argument that the search warrant was
deficient because it lacked probable cause. On August 15,
2014, Trejo's Objection was overruled, the R&R was
adopted, and the Motion to Suppress was denied. See
Mem. Op. & Order [Docket No. 47]. The case proceeded to
to jury selection, on August 25, 2014, the Court held a
pretrial conference. During the conference, the Government
placed on the record a plea offer it had extended to Trejo.
Under the terms of the offer, Trejo could plead guilty to a
count carrying a mandatory minimum of 5 years instead of the
10-year mandatory minimum he faced if he proceeded to trial.
Trial Tr. [Docket Nos. 86-88] at 8:19-9:4. Trejo's
counsel confirmed that he had received the Government's
offer, had communicated it to Trejo, and that Trejo had
decided to decline the offer and wished to proceed to trial.
Id., at 9:8-12. At the pretrial conference, Trejo
confirmed both that he had received the Government's
offer and that his counsel had answered all of his questions
about the plea offer. Id. at 9:13-24.
proceeded to trial. During trial, Trejo's counsel
cross-examined each of the Government witnesses, objected to
the admission of Government evidence, and called witnesses on
Trejo's behalf. See generally id. On August 27,
2014, the jury found Trejo guilty of Count 1 in the
Indictment, possession with intent to distribute
methamphetamine. See Verdict [Docket No. 70]. Trejo
was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment, which was below the
guideline range of 210 to 262 months imprisonment.
See Sentencing J. [Docket No. 80].
March 20, 2015, Trejo filed a Notice of Appeal [Docket No.
82], arguing that the Court incorrectly denied his Motion to
Suppress and erred in admitting into evidence redacted
telephone conversations of Trejo recorded while he was
detained prior to trial. The Eighth Circuit affirmed his
conviction. See United States v. Trejo, 632 F.
App'x 877 (8th Cir. 2015).
October 30, 2017, Trejo filed the 2255 Motion. Trejo argues
that his attorney was ineffective for three reasons: 1) for
failing to vigorously cross examine the Government's
witnesses; 2) for failing to vigorously object to the denial
of the Motion to Suppress; and 3) for failing to adequately
advise Trejo about the Government's plea offer.