We are from Fl but this is a federal case, againt's the government/ICE (Homeland Security-Immigration and Custom Enforcement).My husband is desperate to find a way to reverse the sentenced he received from signing the Plea agreement. He was under numerous medication from diabetis to depression 17 in all prior, during and after the signing and plea hearing and through the sentencing. The lawyer did not fully explained the consequences of signing the Plea Agreement, and did not allow him to see the Agreement prior to signing and refuse to give him the copy after he signed it to be able to review even when both him and I requested several times. We were only given the copy 4 days after the sentencing. When my husband signed the Plea he thought he will get a maximum of 5 years for the Plea, but did not know that there where possible enhancement. The probation officer added "would be" victim as minor even though the surveillance tape, the handwritten note and the testimonies from the Agent who conducted the investigation clearly shows NO minor were involved. The charges were violation of USC 2423(e) "conspiracy to arrange, induce,procure and facilitate the travel of a person, knowing that person was traveling in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in elicit sexual conduct conduct".
The fact, the Undersover Agents went to Honduras(my husband were in the US at the time) and met with some people that my husband refered to them to met with females. The first day they arrived and met with the people my husband introduced to them, they have 2 female aged 18-20 according to the Agents handwritten note, and his testimonies he described the females to be overaged, but the Agents refused the female because they were too old and asked for younger ones (PSR described as victim 1 & 2), the Honduran left told the Agent they will comeback the next day with younger one. They indeed cameback with younger ones, but when my husband found out by telephone that the Honduran people he knew brought in minors, he told them to return them home, and they did (PSR victim 3,4 & 5) thats when the Agents got mad and said we want to make a complain and we want to stick with the original agreement to have younger females brought to us. Again the Honduran guys left and came back the next day with 2 more female (PSR victim 5 & 7), the video surveillance does not clearly show the ages of this last 2 female, but they do not appear to be under 18. Age of consent in Honduras is 17 for female, and 14 for male -male.The Probation officer counted this individual as 7 victims therefore enhance the points for the Sentencing guidelines, which was not explained to my husband prior to and after signing the Plea. I made my own research on what the PSR means and what the comsequences is, and when my husband received the copy of the PSR, he was shock and tried to asked the lawyer to oppose the report and make the correction. The lawyers filed my husbands opposition but did not make reference to the fact from the evidence and the Agents testimonies, they said it will be argued at the sentencing. However, 2 lawyers who was handling his case DID not show up at the sentencing, instead send the lawyer whom my husband never met and who least familiar with the case and it shows. He did not make any argument on the very obvious mistake from the PSR, and to some extent refused to question the claims by the Prosecutor. Like the ages of the Honduran adult involved, the Judge aske if he opposed the estimation that the Agent were giving the lawyer said " I have no evidence either for or againts it", last time I check the burden to prove is with the prosecutor. The judge also said as she listen to the testimonies
"it's a species of entrapment", the lawyer answered "yeah... I know.", but still did not question the Agent even with the facts in hand.
I hired this lawyer, paid a lot of money to represent my husband, but they did not do the basic investigation that they should have done. They did not use the evidence and facts that they already have, instead made my husband plea guilty for something that he did not do or did not happen. We lost our home that has been in the family for 50 years, the goverment seize our home. According to the Plea Agreement, my husband also waived his right for 2255, which he did not know and understand. I am listed as "client" in the contract with lawyers. What do have as recourse.
My husband got a public defender for his appeal at the 11th Circuit, and stated that my husband because he was under numerous medication 17 in all, did not knowingly, voluntarily and understand the consequences of the Plea Agreement, which is the truth. His 90 years father just passed away as a result of this, he was also served Seize and forfeiture because his name is also in the home along with my husband, he refused to leave, he want to die in it and it happened, and our Marine Son was leaving for his 2nd tour to Iraq and it took a toll on my husband mentally, but our appeal was denied. My husband was never been medically evaluated, other than the prison doctor on occation. He was a Vietnam Vet under 100% disability and suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was medically release from service for this illness and was under Psychiatric care prior to his arrest. The public defender, did not think that we have a chance in the US Supreme Court so, she told us that the Public Defender Office will not seek the appeal at the US Supreme Court, and closed our case. My husband want to pursue, so we filed our Appeal pro se' at the US Supreme Court, just the 13th of December 07, and we don't know what will happen to this appeal.
We do not have the financial means to hire a lawyer, but is there something we can do? We have evidence that the Agent lied under oath from the handwritten note, to the surveillance and his testimonies inconsistent to the first two. The Prosecutor allowed the lies to be told in court, what can we do about it. The lawyers who misrepresented my husband, and did not consider facts that I myself gave them and discuss with them. The Probation Officer, who did not do his own investigation and ignored facts to enhance my husbands points for consideration for the Sentencing Guideline.
We need help to pursue this case, which if can get someone to present the facts, we believe we can prove that number of Constitutional rights and US Code were violated both by the defense lawyers, prosecutor, the Agents and the Probation Officer. I am one who never believe in "conspiracy" till now. PLEASE HELP.