Petitioner Boulder Young, also known as Boulder Daniel McManigal [“Petitioner”], was indicted on May 24, 2017 for four counts relating to the distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment claimed that on three separate occasions, Petitioner sold methamphetamine to ATF agents or informants. The prosecution additionally asserted that Petitioner possessed a reputation for dangerousness, citing proffers provided by two of Petitioner’s supposed customers who were both under indictment for related drug charges at the time. Although Petitioner has never been convicted of a felony and possesses a very limited criminal history, the prosecution cited his firearms collection as further evidence of his supposedly violent character.
On August 2, 2017, Petitioner agreed to plead guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance , and signed a memorandum of the proposed plea agreement. The plea was entered on October 2, 2017. App. 1a. This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months in prison. App. 3a. Paragraph 41 of this memorandum requires Petitioner to waive his right to appeal the conviction and the sentence involved. Furthermore, paragraph 41 stipulates that at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing the Court will note that Petitioner’s appellant rights are limited. The Magistrate Judge entered the guilty plea on October 2, and it was accepted by the District Court on October 18, 2017. App. 1a.
On January 11, 2019, Petitioner was sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release. App 8a. Counsel for Petitioner argued that the court should apply the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f) safety valve provision, authorizing a sentence below the federal minimum. To be eligible for “safety valve” relief, defendant must have minimal criminal history and an offense which is nonviolent in nature. The court held that Petitioner failed to meet the burden of proof due to his possession of several firearms, and the fact that he was in the process of cleaning one of them during a federal drug deal. The judgment was entered on January 14, 2019.
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