District Judge Richard J. Arcara


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Defendant pleaded guilty to producing child pornography in violation of 18 USC §2252A(a)(5)(B). The court accepted his guilty plea as being knowing and voluntary only after it determined he was fully competent and capable of entering an informed plea. At his plea colloquy, defendant did not say that former attorney Covert had pressured or coerced him into pleading guilty, or that Covert’s counsel was ineffective. Defendant’s instant motion sought his guilty plea’s withdrawal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(d) on grounds that Covert had coerced him into pleading guilty. Defendant was assigned new counsel due to the conflict Covert operated under as a result of his accusation. The court denied withdrawal. Noting defendant’s educational qualifications and employment, the court found he was very intelligent, alert, and had “clearly understood everything the [court] was saying and everything…[that was] going on.” Further noting that he has not claimed to be innocent, the court found defendant’s “glaring failure to discredit his admission of guilt” tended to show he entered his guilty plea because he was guilty. Citing U.S. v. Juncal, 245 F. 3d 166, the court concluded defendant showed no more than he regretted pleading guilty.