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United States v. Postel-Vargason

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division

November 27, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TROY POSTEL-VARGASON, a/k/a Troy Donovan Vargason, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          C.J. Williams, Chief United States Magistrate Judge

         On November 27, 2017, the above-named defendant, Troy Postel-Vargason, by consent (No. 2023, Doc. 19), [1] appeared before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, and entered a plea of guilty to Counts One through Three of an indictment (“Indictment”) filed in this Court on May 5, 2017 (No. 2023, Doc. 2), as well as Count One of an information (“Information”) originally filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on November 21, 2017 (No. 2086, Doc. 1-1). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 20, defendant stated in writing his wish to waive trial in the district where the Information was filed and consented to entering a plea of guilty on Count One of the Information before this Court. (No. 2086, Doc. 1). The United States Attorneys in both districts have approved this transfer in writing. (Id.). Prior to entering his plea, defendant was arraigned in this Court on the transferred information. Defendant waived prosecution by indictment for the offense charged in Count One of the Information. (No. 2086, Doc. 1-2).

         After cautioning and examining defendant under oath concerning each of the subjects mentioned in Rule 11, the Court determined that the guilty pleas were knowledgeable and voluntary, and the offenses charged were supported by an independent basis in fact containing each of the essential elements of the offenses. The Court therefore RECOMMENDS that the pleas of guilty be accepted and defendant be adjudged guilty.

         At the commencement of the Rule 11 proceeding, defendant was placed under oath and advised that if defendant answered any questions falsely, defendant could be prosecuted for perjury or for making a false statement. Defendant also was advised that in any such prosecution, the Government could use against defendant any statements made under oath.

         The Court asked a number of questions to ensure defendant's mental capacity to enter a plea. Defendant stated defendant's full name, age, and extent of schooling. The Court inquired into defendant's history of mental illness and addiction to narcotic drugs. The Court further inquired into whether defendant was under the influence of any drug, medication, or alcoholic beverage at the time of the plea hearing. From this inquiry, the Court determined that defendant was not suffering from any mental disability that would impair defendant's ability to make knowing, intelligent, and voluntary pleas of guilty to the charges.

         Defendant acknowledged that defendant had received a copy of the Indictment and the Information, and had fully discussed the charges with defendant's counsel.

         The Court determined that defendant was pleading guilty under a plea agreement with the Government. After confirming that a copy of the written plea agreement was in front of defendant and defendant's counsel, the Court determined that defendant understood the terms of the plea agreement. The Court summarized the plea agreement, and made certain defendant understood its terms.

         Defendant was advised also that after the pleas were accepted, defendant would have no right to withdraw the pleas at a later date, even if the sentence imposed was different from what defendant or defendant's counsel anticipated.

         The Court summarized the charges against defendant, and listed the elements of the crime. The Court determined that defendant understood each and every element of the crime, and defendant's counsel confirmed that defendant understood each and every element of the crime charged.

         The Court elicited a full and complete factual basis for all elements of the crimes charged in each Count of the Indictment to which defendant was pleading guilty.

         The Court advised defendant of the consequences of each plea, including the maximum fine, the maximum term of imprisonment, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, and the term of supervised release. With respect to Count One of the Indictment, defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $20, 000, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is life; the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is twenty (20) years; the maximum period of supervised release is life; and the minimum period of supervised release is ten (10) years.

         With respect to Count Two of the Indictment, defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is life; the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is five (5) years, which must run consecutively to the term of imprisonment imposed on any other counts for which defendant is adjudged guilty; and the maximum period of supervised release is three (3) years.

         With respect to Count Three of the Indictment, defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is ten (10) years; and the maximum period of supervised release is three (3) years. Defendant was further advised that, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(e), if the Court finds that defendant has three previous convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense, then the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is life; the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is fifteen (15) years; and the maximum period of supervised release is five (5) years.

         With respect to Count One of the Information, defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is ten (10) years; and the maximum period of supervised release is three (3) years. Defendant was further advised that, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(e), if the Court finds that defendant has three previous convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense, then the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment ...


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