United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are the Petitioner's Motion To Vacate,
Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence In Accordance With 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (Doc. No. 1), the Petitioner's Supplemental
Brief (Doc. No. 9), and the Government's Response. (Doc.
No. 10). For the reasons set forth herein, the
Petitioner's Motion (Doc. No. 1) is DENIED, and this
action is DISMISSED.
Procedural and Factual Background
underlying criminal case, the Petitioner pled guilty,
pursuant to a Plea Agreement, before now-retired Judge Todd
J. Campbell, to participating in a drug trafficking
conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (Doc. Nos.
510, 511 in Case No. 3:11cr00194). The Plea Agreement
contemplated cooperation by the Petitioner potentially
leading to a Government motion for a reduced sentence for
substantial assistance. (Id.) The Petitioner
acknowledged in the Plea Agreement that he qualified for the
career offender enhancement in the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. (Id.) At the subsequent sentencing
hearing, on June 23, 2014, Judge Campbell granted the
Government's motion for a substantial assistance
reduction, and sentenced the Petitioner to 131 months of
imprisonment. (Doc. Nos. 1843, 1845, 1846 in Case No.
3:11cr00194). The record indicates that no appeal was taken.
The Section 2255 Remedy 28 U.S.C. Section 2255
provides federal prisoners with a statutory mechanism by
which to seek to have their sentence vacated, set aside or
(a) A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court
established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be
released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States,
or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such
sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum
authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral
attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to
vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
order to obtain relief under Section 2255, the petitioner
must demonstrate constitutional error that had a
“‘substantial and injurious effect or influence
on the guilty plea or the jury's verdict.'”
Hamblen v. United States, 591 F.3d 471, 473 (6th
Cir. 2009)(quoting Griffin v. United States, 330
F.3d 733, 736 (6th Cir. 2003)).
court should hold an evidentiary hearing in a Section 2255
proceeding where a factual dispute arises, unless the
petitioner's allegations “‘cannot be accepted
as true because they are contradicted by the record,
inherently incredible, or [are] conclusions rather than
statements of fact.'” Ray v. United
States, 721 F.3d 758, 761 (6th Cir. 2013)(quoting
Arredondo v. United States, 178 F.3d 778, 782
(6th Cir. 1999)). In addition, no hearing is
required where “the record conclusively shows that the
petitioner is entitled to no relief.”
Arredondo, 178 F.3d at 782 (quoting Blanton v.
United States, 94 F.3d 227, 235 (6th Cir.
1996)). See also Fifer v. United States, 660
F.App'x 358, 359 (6th Cir. Aug. 22, 2016).
reviewed the pleadings, briefs and records filed in
Petitioner's underlying criminal case, as well as the
pleadings, briefs and records filed in this case, the Court
finds that it need not hold an evidentiary hearing in this
case to resolve the Petitioner's claims. The record
conclusively establishes that the Petitioner is not entitled
to relief on his claims for the reasons set forth herein.
Johnson v. United States Through the Motion To
Vacate, the Petitioner contends that his sentence should be
vacated based on the Supreme Court's decision in
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In
Johnson, the Supreme Court held that the so-called
“residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal
Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), is
unconstitutionally vague. The ACCA provides for a 15-year
mandatory minimum sentence for defendants convicted of
certain firearms offenses who have three previous convictions
for a “violent felony” or a “serious ...