D.D.C.: FBI Agent’s tampering with evidence in def’s case doesn’t lead to dismissal; not significant enough to case

Defendant’s 2255 for proven misconduct by an FBI agent involved in his case of tampering with evidence during the search that surfaced after defendant’s guilty plea does not lead to overturning his conviction. While the agent’s misconduct in another case led to dismissal there, the tampering here wasn’t anywhere as critical as it was to the other case. United States v. Logan, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183365 (D.D.C. Oct. 26, 2018):

In support of his claim, Mr. Logan repeatedly points to the fact that an indictment in an unrelated criminal case was dismissed because of SA Lowry’s involvement in executing a search warrant. See Criminal Action No. 13-248, Pet’r’s Suppl., ECF No. 40-1 at 2 (citing United States v. Borges, 153 F. Supp. 3d 216 (D.D.C. 2015)). In Borges, the government moved to dismiss an indictment against several defendants after admitting that SA Lowry was “involved in executing search warrants that yielded the most significant narcotics evidence recovered in connection with [the] case” and that SA Lowry “played a significant role in the execution of search warrants central to the investigation.” Id. at 218 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Because of the importance of SA Lowry’s role, and the significance of the evidence recovered during the search, the court dismissed the indictment with prejudice. See Borges, 153 F. Supp. 3d at 221.

The circumstances in this case are far different from those at issue in Borges. First, the evidence recovered from the March 2012 search was not central to Mr. Logan’s case. Mr. Logan’s statement of offense makes clear that the conspiracy to which he pleaded guilty ended on October 21, 2011, several months before the search of his place of employment occurred. Proffer, ECF No. 461 at 2-3. Critically, Mr. Logan swore under oath these facts were true and was given an opportunity to correct any misstatements or inaccuracies. Second, Mr. Logan fails to point to any evidence indicating that SA Lowry played a significant role in the search or that he tampered with any evidence that was the basis for Mr. Logan’s guilty plea. The government’s several disclosures in this case state that SA Lowry was not involved in the chain of custody for any evidence seized from Mr. Logan’s place of business. Criminal Action No. 13-248, Gov’t. Response to Def. Ltr. to Court, ECF No. 18 at 1-2. Indeed, there was no cocaine recovered during that search and Mr. Logan points to nothing in the multiple USAO-DC disclosures to support his claim that SA Lowry in fact admitted to tampering with evidence seized in his case.

Mr. Logan’s conclusory statements about SA Lowry’s role during the search of his place of business cannot meet the high standard that “the plea proceeding was tainted by a fundamental defect which inherently results in a miscarriage of justice or an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure.” Weaver, 265 F.3d at 1077 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Therefore, Mr. Logan’s Section 2255 motion on this ground is DENIED.

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