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United States v. Noland

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

June 18, 2015

LEON ROZELL NOLAND, Jr., Defendant. Civil Action No. 5:14-7352-DCR


DANNY C. REEVES, District Judge.

On May 14, 2014, pro se Defendant Leon Rozell Noland, Jr., moved the Court to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [Record No. 163] In accordance with local practice, Noland's motion was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for review and issuance of a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). On April 23, 2015, assigned United States Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram issued a Recommended Disposition, recommending that Noland's motion be denied. [Record No. 206] Noland filed timely objections to the Recommended Disposition. [Record No. 207] Having conducted a de novo review of the portions of the report to which Noland objects, the Court will adopt Magistrate Judge Ingram's Recommended Disposition and deny the relief sought.


On November 2, 2009, the Madison Bank in Madison County, Kentucky was robbed. [Record No. 131, p. 2] The employees described the armed suspect - later identified as Noland - as an African-American male with a black handgun. The robber ordered the employees to place approximately $36, 500.00 dollars into a duffel bag, then fled with the money. Police officers responding to the scene reviewed surveillance footage and determined that the suspect was approximately six feet two inches tall, weighed approximately two hundred twenty pounds and wore a light jacket, dark pants, sunglasses, and a dark toboggan. [ Id., p. 3] Police also obtained a list of 50 one-dollar bills that were given to the suspect. The officers were contacted by a witness who had observed an individual fitting the suspect's description running with a duffel bag towards the Player's Club (a local business). Upon review of the Player's Club's security video footage, police observed the suspect entering a green Dodge Intrepid with a duffel bag. The car was later located at Regina Alexander's house and was registered in her name. Alexander informed police that Noland, her ex-boyfriend, was the primary driver of the car and possessed it on the day of the robbery. A search warrant was obtained for the car, and police located documents in the glove compartment belonging to the defendant. [ Id. ]

Noland was apprehended by police at a local Wal-Mart. Police also discovered that the defendant was renting a room at a nearby motel. [Record No. 131, p. 4] After obtaining a warrant for the room, officers recovered a black duffel bag filled with, inter alia: $29, 540.00, sunglasses, a loaded pistol, ammunition, and handwritten notes pertaining to dollar amounts. However, after comparing the currency in the duffel bag with the list provided by the bank, the police realized that they had been given an incorrect listing of bills. [ Id., p. 5] After obtaining the correct bait list from the bank, the police determined that all fifty one-dollar bills on the Madison Bank bait list were among the bills found in Noland's motel room.

On December 3, 2009, Noland was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of armed bank robbery. [Record No. 14] The Indictment also charged Noland with brandishing a firearm during the commission of the robbery and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. [ Id. ] The defendant filed a number of pre-trial motions through counsel and in his pro se capacity. On February 10, 2012, Noland pleaded guilty pursuant to a written Plea Agreement and admitted to the facts and circumstances giving rise to the charges against him. [Record Nos. 131, 133] He confirmed that he had robbed the Madison Bank in Richmond, Kentucky, on November 2, 2009, by forcing the employees to open the safe at gunpoint. [Record No. 116, pp. 13-14] In the Plea Agreement, Noland waived the right to collaterally attack his guilty plea, conviction, and sentence. [Record No. 131, p. 7]

On May 14, 2014, Noland filed the current § 2255 petition, which he later amended and supplemented with a supporting memorandum. [Record Nos. 163, 167] He asserts ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel as grounds for collateral relief. Specifically, Noland argues that his counsel failed to:

1. inform him of viable defenses and coerced him into pleading guilty;
2. argue that the prosecution introduced falsified evidence;
3. argue that the trial judge abused her discretion;
4. raise the issue of fraud on the court committed by the United States' presentation of falsified evidence;
5. move to quash the indictment because the grand jury heard false evidence and testimony; warrant;
7. move to suppress evidence because it was discovered with a stale warrant;
8. argue that the warrant was insufficiently particular and overbroad;
9. argue that the defendant's car should not have been seized;
10. argue that federal jurisdiction over his case was lacking;
11. raise the issue of fraud committed by the United States by asserting that the F.D.I.C. was a party to his criminal proceeding;
12. argue that his arrest lacked probable cause; and
13. raise successful claims on appeal.

[Record Nos. 163, pp. 5-17; 167-2, pp. 5-24]

On April 23, 2015, United States Magistrate Judge Ingram recommended that the Court deny Noland's § 2255 petition, concluding that he has waived his collateral claims, except for attacks on the knowing and voluntary nature of his guilty plea. [Record No. 206] The Magistrate Judge also concluded that neither trial counsel nor appellate counsel was constitutionally ineffective and that Noland was not prejudiced by his attorneys' actions. [ Id. ] Magistrate Judge ...

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