USA v. Aaron Sammon
Per Curiam OPINION: We GRANT the motion to withdraw and AFFIRM the district court's judgment, decision not for publication pursuant to local rule 206. Boyce F. Martin , Jr., Circuit Judge; Helene N. White, Circuit Judge and Peter C. Economus, U.S. Senior District Judge for the Norther District of Ohio, sitting by designation.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 12a1107n.06
Oct 26, 2012
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF
Before: MARTIN and WHITE, Circuit Judges; ECONOMUS, District Judge.*
PER CURIAM. Aaron Sammons appeals his conviction and sentence for having been a felon
in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). His counsel has filed a motion to
withdraw pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).
Sammons pleaded guilty to having violated section 922(g). Although the plea agreement
stated that the maximum penalty for Sammons’ offense was ten years of imprisonment, the district
court advised Sammons at the plea hearing that, if he fell under the Armed Career Criminal Act, he
would face a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years of imprisonment and a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment. See 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The plea agreement included an appellate
The presentence report classified Sammons as an armed career criminal based on his four
Tennessee burglary convictions, resulting in an advisory sentencing guidelines range of 180 months
of imprisonment, the statutory minimum. Sammons objected to this classification, arguing that his
The Honorable Peter C. Economus, United States Senior District Judge for the Northern
District of Ohio, sitting by designation.
-2burglary convictions did not constitute violent felonies and should not be treated as four separate
criminal acts because he was sentenced for all of the crimes on the same day. Sammons also
challenged on policy grounds the application of the Act. The district court overruled these objections
and sentenced Sammons to 180 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. The
district court agreed that the Act was likely not intended to reach offenders like Sammons, but
explained that it lacked the discretion to impose a lower sentence. Sammons filed a timely appeal.
In his Anders brief, counsel concludes that Sammons entered a valid guilty plea, that the
appellate waiver provision bars any challenge to Sammons’s conviction and sentence, and that the
existing record is not adequate to support an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Sammons was
notified of his right to respond to counsel’s brief, but has failed to do so. Because counsel’s Anders
brief is adequate and our independent review of the record reveals no arguable issues, we grant the
motion to withdraw and affirm the district court’s judgment. See Anders, 386 U.S. at 744.
The record reflects that Sammons entered a valid guilty plea, which included a waiver of his
right to appeal his conviction and sentence. We review de novo the validity of a guilty plea, United
States v. Dixon, 479 F.3d 431, 434 (6th Cir. 2007), as well as the validity and scope of an appellate
waiver provision. United States v. Thomas, 605 F.3d 300, 312 (6th Cir. 2010). In accordance with
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, the district court “must verify that the defendant’s plea is
voluntary and that the defendant understands his or her applicable constitutional rights, the nature
of the crime charged, the consequences of the guilty plea, and the factual basis for concluding that
the defendant committed the crime charged.” Dixon, 479 F.3d at 434 (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). The district court complied with these requirements and, in doing so, determined
that Sammons understood the terms of the appellate waiver provision. Accordingly, that provision
bars Sammons from challenging his conviction and sentence on appeal. See United States v.
McGilvery, 403 F.3d 361, 363 (6th Cir. 2005).
Further, the present record does not support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Such a claim would properly be raised in a motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Massaro
-3v. United States, 538 U.S. 500, 504–05 (2003); United States v. Valdez, 362 F.3d 903, 913–14 (6th
We grant the motion to withdraw and affirm the district court’s judgment.
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