In P v. D.C., the defendant was arrested after placing several pounds of marijuana into the U.S. Mail. A Jamaican citizen in the United States on a work permit, he would have faced mandatory deportation if convicted of a drug trafficking felony. With not much of a defense to work with, Attorney Dudley negotiated a disposition pursuant to which his client’s charge was REDUCED to a misdemeanor after he served two years of probation that included no jail time, only community service. The immigration courts have since allowed him to remain lawfully in this country.
In U.S. v. $25,000, the defendant was arrested by a law-enforcement task force in alleged possession of over 50 kilograms of cocaine. Agents also seized about $25,000 in U.S currency from the same house. After Attorney Dudley obtained a DISMISSAL of the very serious drug charges pursuant to a pre-trial motion, he secured the RETURN of ALL the money to his client.
In P v. M.E., the defendant, who had both a prior felony strike conviction for attempted murder and a prior felony conviction for drug trafficking, was arrested and charged with possessing over 20 pounds of marijuana seized from a large box he had personally delivered to a UPS store and from an apartment a few miles away from that store. After his arrest, the defendant confessed to DEA task force officers that the marijuana in the residence belonged to him and that he had brought the package to the UPS store with the intent of transporting it to another state, namely West Virginia. Because of that confession, because of substantial surveillance evidence, and because of the extensive amount of state prison time the defendant was facing due to his prior attempted murder conviction–over 12 years, 85% actual time–the defendant’s first lawyer advised him to accept a plea bargain for 32 months at 85%. Rather than take that deal, the defendant decided to hire Mr. Dudley. Recognizing certain improprieties with the manner in which the UPS box and the apartment were searched, Mr. Dudley filed a motion to suppress evidence. After reading that motion, the prosecuting attorney conceded that there was a substantial likelihood that it would be granted. As a result, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss all the felony charges in exchange for the defendant’s no contest plea to one misdemeanor which carried no jail time and no other penalties.
The defendant in S. v. A.R., was an interstate truck driver charged with transporting 79 kilograms of cocaine from the Southwest United States to North Carolina. Local law-enforcement officers seized the cocaine from a van which was parked near the defendant’s truck in an isolated warehouse lot late at night. They found the defendant trespassing and apparently hiding inside the warehouse. It looked as though the truck had been recently unloaded and a narcotics-sniffing canine alerted to the presence of drug particles within the truck. Attorney Dudley’s client, who had a prior conviction for attempted murder for which he had served eight years in state prison, was facing a potential sentence of approximately 30 years of incarceration under North Carolina law. The prosecution initially offered to resolve the case for 15 to 18 years. On Mr. Dudley’s advice, the defendant rejected that offer. After a year of off-and-on plea negotiations, it became clear that the defense was intent on taking its case to trial. Weeks before trial was set to commence, the prosecution finally agreed to a settlement acceptable to Attorney Dudley and his client. Under that agreement, the defendant received a prison term of 30 to 33 months and will be released before this year’s end.
The defendant in P. v. G.C. was investigated by a federal/state task force for orchestrating a conspiracy to distribute substantial amounts of cocaine from Mexico into Southern California. That investigation resulted in wiretaps of his and other co-conspirator’s telephones. Those wiretaps captured multiple conversations in which the defendant directed others to distribute several hundred kilograms of cocaine. Eventually charged in California state court, the defendant, who already had one prior felony drug-trafficking conviction, faced a potential sentence of almost 30 years. Attorney Dudley, however, negotiated a disposition of only 9 years. With Mr. Dudley’s post-sentence assistance, under the state’s new realignment system, his client will probably qualify for programs which will reduce his actual time of incarceration to no more than 3 years.
In U.S. v. J.P., the defendant was accused of participating in a conspiracy by a street gang to distribute large amounts of crack cocaine. His prior criminal history qualified him for career offender status under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The conviction that ultimately placed him in that status was one for assault with a deadly weapon—a case in which he had fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic weapon at a private security officer in his patrol vehicle. Under the habitual offender provisions of the guidelines, the defendant faced a minimum sentence of 188 months. While emphasizing the extreme seriousness of that conviction for assault with a firearm, the district court accepted Attorney Dudley’s argument that his client had committed that crime, and several other felonies, many years in the past when he was a young, misguided, abused, drug-addicted, and reckless youth. Consequently, he sentenced the defendant to an imprisonment term of 96 months, over 8 years less than that recommended by the guidelines.
U.S. v. D.B. is a pending federal indictment charging a nationwide conspiracy to distribute massive quantities of PCP. The critical events precipitating that indictment included the seizure of approximately 139 gallons of PCP, the largest seizure of PCP in the history of the United States. Attorney Dudley has recently been retained as trial counsel for the principal defendant in that case. Mr. Dudley has now represented defendants in several of the largest PCP cases ever filed in the federal and state courts of this nation.
In U.S. v. M.A., the defendant was charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute approximately 2,500 pounds of marijuana. He was a professional Jamaican soccer player who remained in the United States unlawfully beyond the expiration of his visa due to a catastrophic knee injury. Recovering from surgery on that knee, he agreed to maintain the stash house to which over two tons, and arguably much more,marijuana was delivered in exchange for free rent and usage of a late-model BMW automobile. At the time of his arrest, he denied knowledge of who owned that BMW and the house in which his passport and other personal possessions were found. He also denied certain actions which law-enforcement agents could confirm through their own extensive surveillance. Although the defendant faced a mandatory federal prison sentence of ten years, Attorney Dudley negotiated a plea agreement pursuant to which the maximum prison term imposed would be four years. Before sentencing, the United States Probation Office recommended the full four-year term, as did the government. Mr. Dudley, however, convinced the district court that various mitigating circumstances warranted a sentence of only 33 months.
Recently, in U.S. v. D.A., the defendant was accused of participating in a nationwide conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs such as Oxycontin. At her detention hearing, the government moved for her permanent incarceration pending trial. At the initial detention proceeding, the magistrate expressed great skepticism about her prospects for pre-trial release, detailing several concerns he had about setting bail in the matter. At the next proceeding, Attorney Dudley was able to answer all those concerns and secured his client’s release on a signature bond.
One of Attorney Dudley’s axioms is that, especially in federal criminal matters, the first battle is very often the most important one, the battle to secure a defendant’s freedom upon the filing of an indictment or complaint. A federally charged defendant needs to hire aggressive, experienced counsel immediately to ensure the greatest likelihood of release pending trial.
In U.S. v. H.R., the defendant was accused of being the right-hand man to the leader of a drug-trafficking conspiracy responsible for distributing over 250 kilograms of heroin from Los Angeles, California to Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri. Of the 20 defendants indicted in the case, the defendant who retained Attorney Dudley immediately upon his arrest was the only one who was released on bond.
Mr. Dudley’s client was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a potential federal sentencing guideline prison term of 20 to 24 years. Following lengthy and complex plea negotiations, Mr. Dudley was able to work out a plea agreement under which his client would be sentenced to a term of only 63 months.
Mr. Dudley convinced the district court to allow the defendant to remain at liberty pending sentencing over government objection and, later, to surrender himself to the Bureau of Prisons. The 63-month sentence which his client eventually received was the second lowest penalty imposed in the case, including sentences imposed upon several defendants who had only a very limited involvement in the heroin conspiracy and other defendants who, unlike Mr. Dudley’s client, provided substantial assistance to the government’s investigation.