United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
BUFORD W. ROGERS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
RONNIE GREER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the United States's motion to deny and
dismiss Petitioner's supplemented pro se motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255 [Doc. 959]. Petitioner submitted the
petition on May 23, 2016 [Docs. 916, 962]. In it, he
challenges his enhancement under Section 4B1.1 of the United
States Sentencing Guidelines based on Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which held that the
residual provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18
U.S.C. § 924(e), was unconstitutionally vague
[Id. (suggesting that his sentence is no longer
valid because the residual clause in Section 4B1.2 is equally
March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Beckles v.
United States, which held that the United States
Sentencing Guidelines are “not amenable to vagueness
challenges.” 137 S.Ct. 886, 894 (2017). Two weeks
later, this Court entered an Order (1) explaining that
Beckles necessarily meant that “Johnson .
. . does not undermine sentences based on Guideline
enhancements;” (2) instructing the parties to
“file any motion that they want[ed] the Court to
consider in conjunction with, or prior to, ruling on [the
instant] petition on or before April 1, 2017;” and
(3) requiring that responsive pleadings be filed on or before
April 15, 2017 [Doc. 958].
March 27, 2017, the United States filed the instant motion to
dismiss Petitioner's Johnson-based challenge to
his career offender designation in light of Beckles
[Doc. 959]. On April 13, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion
requesting this Court consider his Johnson-based
request for sentencing relief in light of Mathis v.
United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), and
Molina-Martinez v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1338
(2016) [Doc. 962]. He provided no further analysis.
DISPOSITIVE MOTION AND § 2255 PETITION
extent that Petitioner challenges his career offender
designation based on Johnson, that argument fails
because the Guidelines are not subject to void for vagueness
analysis. Beckles, 137 S.Ct. 894. As a result, both
of Petitioner's prior federal felony drug convictions
remain controlled substance predicates under Section
4B1.1(a)(3). See, e.g., United States v.
Jenkins, 613 F.App'x 754, 755 (10th Cir. 2015)
(deeming Johnson “irrelevant” where
enhancement stemmed from drug offenses). Similar to
Johnson, neither Mathis nor
Molina-Martinez have any impact on the validity or
propriety of Petitioner's designation as a career
foregoing reasons, the United States's motion to deny and
dismiss [Doc. 959] will be GRANTED and Petitioner's
supplemented § 2255 petition [Docs. 916, 962] will be
DENIED and DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. This Court will CERTIFY
any appeal from this action would not be taken in good faith
and would be totally frivolous. Therefore, this Court will
DENY Petitioner leave to proceed in forma pauperis
on appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 24. Petitioner having
failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right, a certificate of appealability SHALL
NOT ISSUE. 28 U.S.C. § 2253; Fed. R. App. P. 22(b).
 The ACCA mandates a fifteen-year
sentence for any felon who unlawfully possesses a firearm
after having sustained three prior convictions “for a
violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, committed
on occasions different from one another.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e)(1). The statute defines “violent
felony” as “any crime punishable by imprisonment
for a term exceeding one year” that (1) “has as
an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of
physical force against the person of another” (the
“use-of-physical-force clause”); (2) “is
burglary, arson, or extortion, involves the use of
explosives” (the “enumerated-offense
clause”); or (3) “otherwise involves conduct that
presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to
another” (the “residual clause”). 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e)(2)(B). It was this third clause-the residual
clause-that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in
Johnson. 135 S.Ct. at 2563.
Section 4B1.1 enhances a defendant's offense level
if he or she qualifies as a “career offender, ”
i.e., adult defendant whose offense of conviction is a
“crime of violence or controlled substance
offense” and who has “at least two prior felony
convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled
substance offense.” U.S. Sentencing Manual §
4B1.1(a). “Crime of violence” under the
Guidelines is defined in an almost identical manner as
“violent felony” under the ACCA. See
U.S. Sentencing Manual § 4B1.2(a) (adopting identical
use-of-force and residual clauses as well as a nearly
identical enumerated-offense clause).
 In Mathis, the Supreme Court
held that: (1) a prior conviction does not qualify as a
generic form of a predicate violent felony for purposes of
the ACCA if an element of the crime of conviction is made
broader than an element of the generic offense by way of an
enumerated list of alternative factual means for satisfaction
of the former; and (2) Iowa's burglary statute- which
defines “structure” to include any building,
structure, [or] land, water, or air vehicle”- had a
broader locational component than generic burglary. 136 S.Ct.
at 2247-48, 53-54. Because the “structure”
element of Iowa's burglary statute was broader than the
parallel element of generic ...