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United States v. Mills

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 9, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RYAN MILLS, Defendant.

ORDER

LARRY R. HICKS, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant Ryan Mills' ("Mills") Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Doc. #32.[1] The United States filed a Response (Doc. #37), to which Mills replied (Doc. #40).

I. Factual Background

On August 24, 2011, Mills was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of Receipt of Child Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2). Doc. #1. On February 6, 2013, Mills entered into a non-binding plea agreement. Doc. #18. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, Mills stipulated to the following:

On December 7, 2010, investigators with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a federal search warrant at Defendant's home. At the conclusion of the search, various items were seized, including a computer and other electronic devices belonging to Mills.
The forensic review of these electronic devices established that Mills possessed and received over 1, 400 videos and 500 images of child pornography through peer-to-peer programs using the internet. These images included depictions of prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, including sadistic and masochistic conduct.
On December 20, 2010, Mills was interviewed by investigators. During the interview, Mills admitted to using peer-to-peer file sharing software to locate, download and receive child pornography over the internet.

Doc. #18 (SEALED), p. 7. On February 27, 2012, Mills entered a plea of guilty before the Court. Doc. #17. On May 29, the Court sentenced Mills to 78 months' imprisonment, to be followed by 25 years supervised release. Doc. #25. On May 31, 2012, the Court entered judgment against Mills. Doc. #27.

On May 29, 2013, Mills, acting through retained counsel, timely filed the present Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 before the Court. Doc. #32. In his Motion, Mills asserts three grounds for relief:

(1) ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to move to suppress Mills' confession at Los Angeles International Airport ("LAX"); (2) ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to request a sentencing variance; and (3) failure of the trial court to state the legal and factual grounds for ordering a 25-year term of supervised release. See Doc. #32, pp. 2-3. Pursuant to the Court's June 7, 2013 Order (Doc. #35), the United States filed a Response on July 11, 2013. Doc. #37. Mills filed a Reply on July 26, 2013. Doc. #40.

II. Legal Standard

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a prisoner may move the Court to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence if "the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or... the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or... the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255; 2 Randy Hertz & James S. Liebman, Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure § 41.3b (5th ed. 2005).

III. Discussion

A. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Failure to Move to ...


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