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United States v. Davis

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 15, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Casey Jemar Davis, Defendant.

          Benjamin Bejar, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Casey Jemar Davis, 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 Casey Jemar Davis' (“Davis”) Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence [Docket No. 397] (the “Motion”). For the reasons set forth below, Davis' Motion is denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On February 27, 2018, Davis entered a plea of guilty [Docket No. 182] to Count I of the Second Superseding Indictment charging him and co-defendants with conspiring to violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the felon in possession of a firearm statute. See Plea Agreement [Docket No. 190] ¶ 1. In the Plea Agreement, Davis admitted the following facts:

a. Between at least January 2014 and continuing through at least December 2017, the defendant knowingly and intentionally conspired with his co-defendants and with others to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), which makes it a federal crime to be a felon in possession of a firearm. During the timeframe of the conspiracy, the defendant was an active member of the street gang known as the “HAM Crazy.” Some of the primary goals of the HAM Crazy gang are to maintain their power and reputation and to maintain their control of what they consider to be their “gang turf, ” namely certain parts of the eastside of Saint Paul, Minnesota, against rival Saint Paul gangs, such as the Hit Squad, through the use of gun violence and intimidation.
b. During all or part of the timeframe of the conspiracy, many of the HAM Crazy gang members, including the defendant, were convicted felons or were otherwise legally prohibited from possessing firearms. Specifically, the defendant has a 2014 felony conviction for crime committed for the benefit of a gang.
c. During the timeframe of the conspiracy, the HAM Crazy gang has been in an ongoing gang war with several rival gangs, including the Hit Squad, that has resulted in several gang members on both sides being shot and in some cases killed. The gang warfare includes the use of firearms by HAM Crazy members in shootings of rival gang members and their affiliates and the brandishing of firearms by HAM Crazy members as direct threats of violence and intimidation against rival gang members through social media platforms.
d. Due to the ongoing gang war and the need for firearms to carry out some of the goals of the HAM Crazy gang, HAM Crazy members, including the defendant, conspired to illegally obtain and jointly possess firearms. HAM Crazy members obtained firearms in a variety of ways, including through thefts, trades, and cash exchanges, and HAM Crazy members shared and transferred firearms amongst themselves. HAM Crazy members also attempted to buy, sell, trade, and otherwise obtain firearms using social media platforms.
e. The defendant stipulates and agrees that the firearms listed in the Second Superseding Indictment were manufactured outside the State of Minnesota and therefore previously had traveled in interstate and/or foreign commerce before being in the gang's possession during the timeframe of the conspiracy. The defendant further stipulates and agrees that he knowingly and intentionally participated in the conspiracy, and that he knew his actions violated the law.
f. The defendant admits and stipulates that in furtherance of the conspiracy, on or about June 23, 2014, he knowingly unlawfully possessed a loaded Iver Johnson, model 57A, .22-caliber revolver, bearing serial number J65322, at a residence in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where several other HAM Crazy members, including some co-defendants, were present for filming a rap video, as set forth in Overt Act 8 of the Second Superseding Indictment. Saint Paul Police responded to the residence on a report of shots being fired and that persons had been shot. As police approached the residence, they observed the defendant on steps attempting to gain access to the residence and drop a white sock over the railing that was later determined to contain the .22-caliber revolver. The defendant stipulates and agrees that he knowingly possessed the firearm; that he knew he did not have a valid permit to legally possess the firearm; that he acted voluntarily; and that he knew his actions violated the law.
g. The defendant further admits and stipulates that in furtherance of the conspiracy, in September 2014, he took part in a rap video, published on social media platform YouTube on or about September 17, 2014, wherein he and other HAM Crazy members, including some of the co-defendants, brandished and pointed firearms at the camera, and other HAM Crazy members passed ...

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