187 F.3d 624 (1st Cir. 1998), 98-1091, U.S. v. Solano-Moreta

Docket Nº:98-1091.
Citation:187 F.3d 624
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Jorge J. SOLANO-MORETA, a/k/a Wes, a/k/a Caballo, a/k/a Pedro, Defendant, Appellant.
Case Date:December 01, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
 
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Page 624

187 F.3d 624 (1st Cir. 1998)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Jorge J. SOLANO-MORETA, a/k/a Wes, a/k/a Caballo, a/k/a Pedro, Defendant, Appellant.

No. 98-1091.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

December 1, 1998

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA1 Rule 36 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Hon. Salvador E. Casellas, U.S. District Judge.

Rafael Anglada-López for appellant.

Miguel A. Pereira, Assistant U.S. Attorney, with whom Guillermo Gil, U.S. Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.

Before TORRUELLA, Chief Judge, HALL, Senior Circuit Judge, [*] and LYNCH, Circuit Judge.

LYNCH.

Jorge J. Solano-Moreta contends, among other things, that the district court erred in denying his requests to withdraw his guilty plea. We affirm his conviction.

I

On June 7, 1995, thirty-seven defendants, including Solano-Moreta, were indicted in connection with a violent drug conspiracy. On May 29, 1996, the day that he was scheduled to go to trial, Solano-Moreta, the alleged leader of the organization, pled guilty to engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(a) and (b) and to carrying firearms in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) and (2).

Ultimately, only eight of the defendants went to trial. On August 8, 1996, the jury convicted three of these defendants and acquitted five.

Solano-Moreta filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea in early December 1996, asserting that an agreement outside the bounds of the plea agreement had induced his plea and that his former counsel had not moved to challenge audiotapes or explained the plea agreement fully. The court held evidentiary hearings on December 19 and December 27, 1996 and denied the motion on January 23, 1997.

When Solano-Moreta appeared for sentencing, he again informed the court that he wished to withdraw his plea; with the assistance of new counsel, another motion to that effect was filed on May 21, 1997. In addition to requesting reconsideration of the court's previous rulings, this motion added further claims of involuntariness, claimed that previous counsel had an unexplored conflict of...

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