A man sentenced to a 55-year minimum mandatory term in federal prison for dealing marijuana, possessing guns and money laundering is not entitled to get his sentence eliminated or changed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.
Weldon Angelos, 29, drew widespread attention when a federal judge had no choice but to sentence him to 55 years and a day in prison under the stringent minimum sentencing laws in the federal criminal justice system.
Angelos has since filed a motion in federal court arguing that the sentence is unconstitutional given recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding gun possession for self-defense. His attorneys also have noted that the sentencing judge called the harsh mandatory penalty "unjust, cruel and irrational."
However, the U.S. Attorney's Office has responded that Angelos' latest motion for post-conviction relief is "nothing more than bald assertions and airy generalities," which do not merit an evidentiary hearing nor any change in his sentence.
Angelos was convicted in 2003 of dealing small amounts of marijuana on three occasions and a gun charge was added to his indictment, which produced a tougher penalty.
A federal judge, former U.S. attorneys general, a former FBI director, former federal prosecutors and others have criticized the sentence.