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United States v. Machen

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 18, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Kenneth Owen Machen, Defendant.

          Amber M. Brennan, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Kenneth Owen Machen, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for a ruling on Defendant Kenneth Owen Machen's (“Machen”) Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence [Docket No. 59][1] (the “Motion”). For the reasons set forth below, Machen's Motion is denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On April 22, 2015, Machen entered a plea of guilty to Count I of an Information [Docket No. 32] charging him with possession of a stolen firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). See Plea Agreement [Docket No. 35] ¶ 1. In the Plea Agreement, Machen admitted the following facts:

a. During the late evening hours of October 16, 2014, Defendant was at the Little Earth apartment complex in Southeast Minneapolis. Numerous individuals observed Defendant holding a firearm. Defendant then ran through a parking lot to a different section of the apartment complex, where he was located by police.
b. Officers arrested Defendant on the scene and discovered a Ruger, Model: LCP, .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, bearing serial number: 371038190, in the parking lot along Defendant's flight path. Officers subsequently discovered that the gun had been stolen from a victim in the city of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota.
c. Defendant was in possession of the Ruger handgun that evening. He had acquired the handgun earlier that day from an individual in the Little Earth apartment complex who told Defendant the gun had been stolen, but that it had not been used in any crimes. Therefore, Defendant knew the handgun had been stolen prior to the time he possessed it.
d. The Ruger, Model: LCP, .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun was manufactured in Prescott, Arizona. Defendant does not dispute that the firearm traveled in interstate and foreign commerce prior to Defendant's possession of it on October 16, 2014.

Id. ¶ 2.

         On August 14, 2015, Machen was sentenced to 70 months' imprisonment. Sentencing J. [Docket No. 52] at 2. Machen did not directly appeal his conviction.

         Machen now moves under § 2255 to vacate his sentence, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that he is actually innocent of possessing a stolen firearm. Motion at 5-6. Machen claims that he told his attorney that Minneapolis Police Officer David Campbell (“Campbell”), who was present at the Little Earth apartment complex on the night of the offense and assisted in the investigation, planted the gun at the scene. Id. at 5. Machen further claims that his attorney never investigated his claim and instead told Machen that he would receive a life sentence if ...


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