United States v. Lloyd, No. 16-3169 (2d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Lloyd pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1), based on the “Pinkerton” theory of co-conspirator liability. The court sentenced Lloyd to 25 years in prison, the mandatory minimum term for these offenses. Lloyd argued that the court failed to satisfy requirements of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 that a district judge accepting a plea personally inform the defendant of the “nature of each charge” as to which the defendant is pleading guilty, and determine “that there is a factual basis for the plea. He also claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. The Second Circuit affirmed. The court erred by failing to ensure that Lloyd understood “the nature of each charge,” but the record does not establish that but for this Rule 11 violation Lloyd would not have pleaded guilty; Lloyd has not demonstrated that his substantial rights were violated. The court adequately “determine[d] that there is a factual basis for the plea.” Lloyd’s substantive arguments regarding Pinkerton liability were barred by the appeal waiver in his plea agreement. The court declined to consider the ineffective assistance claim; Lloyd may pursue it in habeas corpus proceedings.