United States District Court, District of Columbia
G. Sullivan United States District Judge.
2013, Jonathan McCoy Logan pleaded guilty to drug and gun
related offenses in two criminal cases, and was sentenced to
an agreed-upon 147 months of incarceration pursuant to a Rule
11(c)(1)(C) plea. Several months after he was sentenced, the
government informed Mr. Logan that a Federal Bureau of
Investigation (“FBI”) Special Agent who was
involved in the execution of the search warrant attendant to
his arrest had tampered with evidence in other criminal
cases. Mr. Logan now moves to vacate his convictions and
sentences under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based on: (1) the
information provided about that FBI agent; and (2) an alleged
technical error in his sentencing.
reasons that follow, Mr. Logan's motions to vacate his
convictions and sentences are DENIED.
September of 2010 the FBI began investigating a network of
drug trafficking that stretched from Maryland to Washington
See Factual Proffer (“Proffer”), ECF No.
461 at 1. As a result of its investigation, which
included extensive physical and electronic surveillance, the
FBI identified several individuals who would later be
indicted on various drug conspiracy charges. Id. at
those indicted individuals was Jonathon McCoy Logan. The
investigation revealed that, on several occasions, from at
least September 2010 to October 21, 2011, Mr. Logan sold
cocaine to another indicted individual, Kelvin Heyward.
Id. at 2-3. Wire-tapped calls between the two showed
that they would coordinate these sales of cocaine at public
locations. Id. at 3. These calls captured the
details of specific drug transactions, as well as how the
transactions were generally conducted. Id.
transactions came to an end on October 21, 2011, when Mr.
Logan was arrested during a drug deal. Id. at 5-6.
The deal commenced when Mr. Logan called another customer,
Archie Kinney, to set up a meeting later that day.
Id. at 5. At approximately 4:25 pm, Mr. Logan pulled
into a shopping center parking lot in Capitol Heights,
Maryland and Mr. Kinney entered the parking lot shortly
after. Id. at 6. The two men parked their vehicles
adjacent to each other. Id. Mr. Logan next entered
Mr. Kinney's car and sold him narcotics. Id.
After the sale, Mr. Logan exited Mr. Kinney's car and
began to back out of the parking lot. Id. At that
point, Prince George's County Police Department officers
arrived on the scene and arrested Mr. Logan. Id. The
officers then searched Mr. Logan as a result of the arrest
and uncovered a .32 semi-automatic handgun along with over
$14, 000. Id. The officers next searched Mr.
Logan's vehicle finding $4, 000 and several plastic bags
containing cocaine. Id. at 6-7.
Logan was charged in two separate criminal cases based on:
(1) the evidence accumulated during the investigation; and
(2) the evidence seized during the October 21, 2011 arrest.
The surveillance evidence gave rise to the indictment filed
on March 8, 2012, charging Mr. Logan with one Count of
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to
Distribute 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine and 280 Grams or
More of Cocaine Base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
846, 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(c). See Superseding
Indictment, ECF No. 12. The October 2011 arrest, and
subsequent car search, gave rise to an August 2013 indictment
in Maryland, later transferred to this district, which
charged Mr. Logan with, among other things, Conspiracy to
Distribute and Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams
or More of Cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C §§ 846,
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); and Using and Carrying a Firearm
During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). See Criminal
Action No. 13-248, Indictment, ECF No. 1-1.
Logan was arrested at his place of business, the All-In-One
Stop in Clinton, Maryland, following the filing of the March
8, 2012 superseding indictment. See Arrest Warrant
Returned Executed, ECF No. 34. That same day, a team of FBI
agents executed a search warrant at the All-In-One Stop; the
presence of one agent, Special Agent (“SA”)
Matthew Lowry, is relevant to Mr. Logan's collateral
attack on his plea and sentence.
to the United States Attorney's Office for the District
of Columbia (“USAO-DC”), the investigation that
resulted in Mr. Logan's indictment was conducted by the
FBI's Safe Streets Task Force. Notice, ECF No. 563 at 1.
SA Lowry was assigned to a different task force -- the
Cross-Border Task Force (“CBTF”)--but he
“provided some assistance to the overall investigation
at the time of the ‘take-down' in March
2012.” Id. Specifically, SA Lowry participated
in the execution of the search warrant at the All-In-One Stop
which led to the seizure of several items. Criminal Action
No. 13-248, Gov't. Response to Def. Ltr. to Court, ECF
No. 18 at 1-2. According to the USAO-DC, SA Lowry was not
listed on the chain-of-custody for any of the items seized
from the All-In-One Stop. Id. at 2.
October 1, 2014 the FBI informed USAO-DC that “Special
Agent Lowry may have engaged in misconduct by tampering with
evidence . . . includ[ing] tampering with narcotics and
firearm evidence seized during investigations.” Notice,
ECF No. 563 at 1-2. USAO-DC soon after informed the Court
that a criminal investigation was being conducted into SA
Lowry's misconduct. Id. USAO-DC explained that
it was recused from the FBI investigation, but that it
believed that SA Lowry's misconduct would not have an
impact on the defendants in the case because “of [SA
Lowry's] limited role in the overall
investigation.” Id. at 2.
FBI's investigation into SA Lowry's misconduct was
prompted by the discovery of SA Lowry under the influence of
drugs in an FBI vehicle on September 29, 2014. The
investigation revealed that SA Lowry began to remove FBI drug
evidence in “late 2013.” See Criminal
Action No. 13-248, Mem. Of Investigation, ECF No. 40-1 at
He admitted to “taking a small amount of [narcotics]
prior to packaging and processing the evidence” in an
unrelated case. Id. SA Lowry admitted to using drugs
from “late 2013 when he began, through September 29,
2014, when he was found [under the influence] in his
FBI-issued vehicle.” Id. SA Lowry was charged
with, among other things, possession of heroin. See
Criminal Action No. 15-34, Judgment in a Criminal Case
(“Judgment”), ECF No. 30. He pleaded guilty to
the charges and was sentenced to 36 months of incarceration.
August 29, 2013, over a year before SA Lowry's misconduct
came to light, Mr. Logan pleaded guilty before this Court to
two drug conspiracy offenses and to one gun-related offense.
One of the drug conspiracy offenses was in connection with
the narcotics he sold Mr. Heyward for which he was indicted
in Criminal Action No. 12-59, and the other was in connection
to the drugs recovered from his car during his October arrest
which led to the indictment in Criminal Action No. 13-248.
See Proffer, ECF No. 461. The third offense was for
using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking
offense, also in connection to his October arrest.
See Criminal Action No. 13-248, Proffer, ECF No. 3
at 6. The parties agreed to a 147-month term of incarceration
pursuant to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea. See Addendum to
Plea Agreement, ECF No. 527 at 1. On April 17, 2014, this
Court sentenced Mr. Logan to a concurrent sentence of 87
months on the two conspiracy drug offenses, and a consecutive
sentence of 60 months for the firearm offense for a total of
147 months consistent with the agreed-upon sentence.
See Sentencing Hr'g Tr., ECF No. 627 at 35.
November 2014 the government disclosed to Mr. Logan the
information about SA Lowry's alleged wrongdoing. Notice,
ECF No. 563 at 1. The Court then directed the government to
file status reports regularly with the Court with updates on
the status of the government's investigation into Mr.
Lowry's alleged misconduct. Minute Order of November 13,
2014. The government explained SA Lowry's role in Mr.
Logan's case as follows:
[G]overnment counsel understands that Agent Lowry's
involvement in the investigation . . . involved assisting in
a large-scale "takedown" on March 12, 2012,
specifically the execution of one search warrant on March 12,
2012, in Clinton, Maryland. Agent Lowry participated along
with a team of other FBI agents in executing a search warrant
at defendant Jonathan Logan's business location. . . .
Agent Lowry was not listed on the chain-of-custody for any of
the items seized from this location.
Criminal Action No. 13-248, Gov't. Response to Def. Ltr.
to Court, ECF No. 18 at 1-2. The government also made clear
that the only event in which SA Lowry participated in Mr.
Logan's case--the execution of the search warrant on
March 12, 2012-- occurred five months after October 21, 2011,
which was the ending date of the drug conspiracy with which
Mr. Logan was charged. Id. Similarly, the proffer of
facts explained that the gun seizure occurred during the