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12 23Thu04242014

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Inmate seeks to correct sentence

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A GUAM resident serving time at a federal prison in Yankton, S.D., is seeking to have his 10-year drug sentence vacated or corrected, claiming his attorney provided ineffective assistance.

Eddie Pablo Paulino filed a motion earlier this week in the District Court of Guam, asking to have his sentence reconsidered because he was exposed to a maximum life term, which he believes was an error.

Paulino was sentenced on Sept. 20, 2011 to 120 months imprisonment with credit for time served.

He and his brother, Christopher Pablo Paulino were accused of bringing in large amounts of methamphetamine hydrochloride into Guam through the mail in 2010.

On Feb. 23, 2011, a federal jury found Paulino not guilty on all but one charge of attempted possession with intent to distribute. His brother, Christopher, was cleared of all charges.

In his motion, Paulino argued that his court-appointed counsel, Attorney Peter C. Perez, “was ineffective for failing to argue an issue that was objected to at sentence.”

According to Paulino, he was subject to a mandatory minimum term of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment for possessing more than 50 grams of meth.

He argued that the jury did not unanimously find that the government proved the drug quantity of 109.5 grams, so the erred finding that he possessed “more than 50 grams” exposed him to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, Paulino’s motion states.

Paulino filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed his conviction and sentence on Oct. 29, 2012.

He said although his attorney reasserted that he (Paulino) should have been acquitted of the charge, Perez “did not submit papers or offer extensive arguments contesting the mandatory on direct appeal.”

As a result, Paulino believes he is entitled to the relief he seeks, “to have his mandatory sentence vacated and the relevant sentencing factors considered.”

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