588 F.3d 497 (7th Cir. 2009), 09-1710, United States v. Singleton

Docket Nº:09-1710.
Citation:588 F.3d 497
Opinion Judge:BAUER, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Dewanzel SINGLETON, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Andrew C. Porter, Attorney, Joseph Thompson (argued), Office of the United States Attorney, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Gerardo S. Gutierrez, Attorney (argued), Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before BAUER and SYKES, Circuit Judges, and SIMON, District Judge. [*]
Case Date:December 02, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 497

588 F.3d 497 (7th Cir. 2009)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Dewanzel SINGLETON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 09-1710.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

December 2, 2009

Argued Oct. 26, 2009.

Page 498

Andrew C. Porter, Attorney, Joseph Thompson (argued), Office of the United States Attorney, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Gerardo S. Gutierrez, Attorney (argued), Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before BAUER and SYKES, Circuit Judges, and SIMON, District Judge. [*]

Page 499

BAUER, Circuit Judge.

Dewanzel Singleton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and 21 U.S.C. § 846. The district judge sentenced him to ninety-seven months in prison. Singleton appeals the district court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, his motion to dismiss the indictment against him as insufficient, and the judge's refusal to issue a below-Guidelines sentence. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On September 12, 2007, the government indicted Singleton for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. On April 14, 2008, he pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with the government. Three months later, Singleton moved to withdraw his plea and to dismiss the indictment against him as insufficient. He argued that defense counsel provided ineffective assistance at a hearing to suppress evidence that was seized by police during a June 2003 traffic stop. Singleton accused his counsel of failing to view a videotape that showed an officer issuing a warning ticket to the car's driver, and then calling a canine unit to sniff the outside of the vehicle. The dog alerted that the car contained contraband. According to Singleton, had counsel viewed the tape, she would have been prepared to successfully challenge the admission of the evidence obtained at the stop.

The record shows that during the two-day suppression hearing, defense counsel presented witnesses and made a number of arguments why the evidence obtained from the stop should be suppressed. She suggested that the officer's proffered reason for stopping Singleton-that his vehicle was speeding-was pretextual; that the duration of the stop was unreasonable for purposes of a warning ticket; and that officers somehow induced...

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