Federal prosecutor: Convicted robber’s motion for reconsideration should be rejected

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JOHN Gerald Castro Pangelinan’s motion to reconsider the 289-month jail sentence imposed on him should be rejected, Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe told the federal court.

He said Pangelinan has presented no evidence demonstrating his actual innocence.

Pangelinan is serving his sentence in a federal prison in Kentucky for Hobbs Act robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and escape.

He is asking the court to set aside or “correct” his sentence in light of a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the residual clause.

The residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act is a statute that imposes additional punishment on persons with multiple prior convictions.

Pangelinan claimed that he is innocent of count III of the conviction — using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

He said he was charged with count III under the residual clause and therefore the sentence associated with it should be vacated.

Pangelinan and his co-defendant Daniel Muna Quitugua are serving a prison sentence for the attempted armed robbery of Capital Poker in Sadog Tasi on April 29, 2004.

On June 1, 2016 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Pangelinan’s motion requesting appointment of legal representation and the granting of a resentencing hearing in the District Court for the NMI with instructions to reopen Pangelinan’s case.

In the response of the U.S. government to Pangelinan’s motion, Backe said the petitioner is not entitled to relief.

Backe said Pangelinan’s conviction was not predicated solely on a crime on the Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, “but was additionally and equally predicated on count two (attempted Hobbs Act robbery) which satisfies the — still valid —elements clause.”

He said, “Unlike conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, attempted Hobbs Act robbery is a valid crime of violence under the elements clause because it invariably requires the actual, attempted, or threatened use of physical force.”

Backe said Pangelinan’s motion is also procedurally barred as he did not appeal his conviction.

Pangelinan had filed two previous motions in the district court that were denied in 2013 and in 2015.

He filed the previous motions on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel; misleading him as to the consequences of accepting the plea agreement; and error in the commitment order.

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