November 20, 2015
for certiorari filed at, 06/03/2016
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Kansas City.
United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: James Curt
Bohling, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Stefan C. Hughes, Philip M.
Koppe, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE,
Kansas City, MO.
T. Briggs, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Leavenworth, KS.
Garron T. Briggs, Defendant - Appellant: John Justin
Johnston, JOHNSTON LAW FIRM, LLC, Kansas City, MO.
COLLOTON, GRUENDER, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Briggs pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and
to distribution of cocaine. After a presentence report
recommended an enhanced advisory guideline sentence based on
a pending murder charge in state court, Briggs moved to
withdraw his guilty plea. The district court determined
that Briggs's plea was knowing and voluntary, denied the
motion, and sentenced Briggs to 300 months' imprisonment.
On appeal, Briggs argues that the district court abused its
discretion in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
He also contends for the first time that the sentencing
enhancement under the guidelines violated his Sixth Amendment
rights. We reject his claims and affirm.
September 2012, a grand jury charged Briggs with conspiracy
to distribute cocaine and distribution of crack cocaine. In
June 2014, Briggs pleaded guilty to both counts without any
plea agreement. At the time of his guilty plea in the federal
case, Briggs had been charged in Jackson County, Missouri,
with several state criminal violations, including a count of
first-degree murder stemming from an alleged drug-related
robbery. State v. Briggs, No. 1116-CR03745-01 (Mo.
Cir. Ct. filed Sept. 2, 2011). At Briggs's change-of-plea
hearing, his attorney explained that Briggs was pleading
guilty in an effort to avoid sentencing enhancements based on
the state charges and with the hope that the state court
would impose a sentence concurrent to Briggs's federal
plea colloquy, Briggs admitted that he was guilty of both
federal charges. The court advised Briggs about the rights he
was waiving, the statutory minimum and maximum penalties for
each offense, and the process by which an advisory guideline
range would be calculated. On questioning by his attorney,
Briggs acknowledged that he could not " withdraw [the
plea] if we don't like how that presentence report comes
out." The district court accepted Briggs's plea,
finding that there was a factual basis for Briggs's
guilt, that Briggs made the plea knowingly and voluntarily,
and that there was not probable cause to believe his counsel
probation office then prepared a presentence investigation
report. The applicable sentencing guideline for Briggs's
offenses of conviction is U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1. Section
2D1.1(d)(1) contains a cross-reference providing that, if a
victim died under circumstances that would constitute
first-degree murder under 18 U.S.C. § 1111, the district
court should apply U.S.S.G. § 2A1.1 if the resulting