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United States v. Matthews

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

February 8, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY MATTHEWS, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON CHANGE OF PLEA

          PATRICK M. HUNT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE is before the undersigned on an Order of Reference (ECF No. 25) from United States District Judge Donald Middlebrooks to the undersigned, to conduct a proceeding for acceptance of a guilty plea by Defendant Anthony Matthews in the above-referenced case. The undersigned, having conducted a Change of Plea hearing on February 7, 2018, recommends to the District Court as follows:

         1. On February 7, 2018, the undersigned held a hearing to permit Defendant, Anthony Matthews, to enter a change of plea. At the outset of the hearing, the undersigned advised Defendant of his right to have these proceedings conducted by the District Judge assigned to the case. Further, Defendant was advised that the Change of Plea hearing was being conducted on an Order of Reference from the District Judge, at the request of Defendant, Defendant's attorney, and the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to this case. The undersigned further advised Defendant that the District Judge assigned to this case would be the sentencing judge and would make all findings and rulings concerning Defendant's sentence.

         2. Defendant was advised that he did not have to permit the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge to conduct this hearing and could request that the Change of Plea hearing be conducted only by a United States District Judge. Defendant, Defendant's attorney, and the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case all agreed on the record and consented to the undersigned conducting the Change of Plea hearing.

         3. The undersigned conducted a plea colloquy in accordance with the outline set forth in the Bench Book for District Judges.

         4. There is a written Plea Agreement (ECF No. 27) which has been entered into by the parties in this case. The undersigned reviewed the Plea Agreement on the record and had Defendant acknowledge that he signed the Plea Agreement. The undersigned also made certain that Defendant was aware of any applicable mandatory minimum sentences and statutory enhancements (there are none) and the maximum sentences which could be imposed in this case pursuant to the Plea Agreement and the applicable statutes. Defendant acknowledged that he understood these possible maximum penalties which could be imposed in this case.

         5. Mr. Matthews pled guilty to Counts 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 of the indictment, which charge him with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(c). The controlled substances alleged in the indictment are crack cocaine (Counts 1 and 7); cocaine (Counts 2 and 3); and a-PVP/flakka (Count 6). The Government agreed to seek dismissal of Counts 4 and 5 at the time of sentencing.

         6. The Plea Agreement contains a waiver of appeal. The undersigned read the waiver of appeal to Defendant on the record and questioned Defendant thereafter. Defendant acknowledged on the record in response to the undersigned's questions that by entering into the Plea Agreement containing the appeal waiver, he was waiving or giving up all rights to appeal any sentence imposed by the District Court in this case, except under the limited circumstances contained within the appeal waiver provision read to Defendant from the Plea Agreement.

         7. The parties provided an agreed written factual basis for the entry of the plea (ECF No. 28) which included all of the essential elements of the crimes to which Defendant is pleading guilty and any sentencing enhancements and/or aggravating factors that may be applicable (there are none). Defendant acknowledged on the record that he had read and signed the written proffer, and agreed that the facts set forth in the proffer were true and accurate.

         8. The undersigned advised Defendant about the possible immigration and other collateral consequences of his guilty pleas.

         9. Based on all of the foregoing and the plea colloquy, the undersigned recommends to the District Judge that Defendant, Anthony Matthews, be found to have freely and voluntarily entered his guilty pleas to Counts 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 of the indictment as more particularly described herein and that he be adjudged guilty of these offenses.

         10. A Presentence Investigation Report is being prepared for the District Court by the United States Probation Office. Sentencing has been set for April 19, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. in West Palm Beach before the Honorable Donald Middlebrooks, United States District Judge.

         Accordingly, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that Defendant Anthony Matthews' pleas of guilty be accepted, that Defendant be adjudged guilty of the offenses to which he has entered his pleas of guilty and that a sentencing hearing be conducted for final disposition of this matter.

         The parties will have fourteen (14) days from the date of being served with a copy of this Report and Recommendation within which to file written objections, if any, with the Honorable Donald Middlebrooks, United States District Judge. Failure to file objections timely shall bar the parties from a de novo determination by the District Judge of an issue covered in the Report and shall bar the parties from attacking on appeal unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions contained therein, except upon grounds of plain error if necessary in the interest of justice. S ...


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