United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
before the Court is a motion to vacate filed by Edgar Acevedo
("Acevedo" or "petitioner") pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255, challenging his guilty plea offered in
December, 2014, and the sentence that followed.
December, 2014, petitioner pled guilty to conspiracy to
commit kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c).
indictment charged Acevedo with conspiring with several
co-defendants to kidnap John Doe ("Doe") at
gunpoint and hold him for ransom. At Acevedo's Rule 11
hearing, the government proffered the following facts that he
did not dispute: two armed co-conspirators 1) stopped
Doe's vehicle, 2) forced him from the car into a van
driven by Acevedo, 3) demanded a ransom from Doe's wife
and 4) held him at a house owned by Alfred Vasquez
("Vasquez"), a co-conspirator, in Lawrence,
agents rescued Doe after five days and tracked the ransom
money, coated with fluorescent fingerprint powder, to
Vasquez's primary residence. They encountered Acevedo
upon their arrival and arrested him after his hands tested
positive for fingerprint powder residue.
government produced three witnesses to testify that Acevedo
was part of the kidnapping scheme. Moreover, analysis of
Acevedo's cellphone records from the three weeks prior to
the kidnapping revealed that he had 114 calls with Vasquez
and 89 calls with another co-conspirator.
was the last conspirator to plead guilty and several times
attempted to sever the charges against him from the charges
against his co-conspirators. He vigorously objected to
portions of the Pre-Sentence Report ("PSR"),
arguing that he 1) was unaware of the plan to kidnap Doe, 2)
could not have foreseen the use of a gun by his
co-conspirators, 3) was not present in the house where Doe
was held and 4) played a minor role in the conspiracy itself.
sentencing, this Court heard arguments from defense counsel
regarding petitioner's objections to the PSR and
addressed the first 13 objections, which related to the facts
recited in the PSR that increased his offense level. Defense
counsel did not offer any rebuttal evidence in support of his
objections to the PSR nor did she request an evidentiary
was charged by indictment in April, 2012. After this Court
denied his motions to sever, Acevedo pled guilty at a Rule 11
hearing in December, 2014, the day before he was scheduled to
go to trial.
Acevedo's objections at sentencing, the Court adopted the
PSR's recommended offense level of 37 and criminal
history category I, resulting in a guidelines imprisonment
range of 210 to 262 months. This Court then sentenced Acevedo
to 192 months imprisonment, two years supervised release and
a $100 special assessment.
appealed his below-guidelines sentence to the First Circuit
Court of Appeals ("First Circuit") in March, 2015.
He argued that this Court 1) failed to hold a hearing to
resolve the factual disputes raised by his objections to the
PSR at sentencing and 2) erred in calculating his offense
level. He submitted that there was an undue disparity between
his sentence and those of his co-conspirators. The First
Circuit affirmed his sentence in June, 2016.
August, 2016, Acevedo appealed the decision of the First
Circuit to the United States Supreme Court. In October, 2016,
the Supreme ...