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 pro se
Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or
Correct Sentence (Doc. Nos. 1, 2); an Amended Motion For
Relief Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. No. 12), filed by
counsel for the Petitioner; the Government's Response
(Doc. No. 25); a Second Amended Motion For Relief Under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. No. 33); the Government's
Response To Petitioner's Second Amended Motion (Doc. No.
42); and the Petitioner's Reply (Doc. No. 43). For the
reasons set forth herein, the Petitioner's Motions Under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct
Sentence (Doc. Nos. 1, 2, 12, 33) are DENIED, and this action
Procedural and Factual Background
Petitioner was initially charged with unlawful possession of
a firearm by a convicted felon (Count One), and possession
with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Count
Two). (Doc. No. 10 in Case No. 3:13cr00214). Through the
issuance of a Superseding Indictment, the Petitioner was
charged with five more drug trafficking counts, and Count Two
was amended to add a specific amount - 28 grams or more - of
cocaine base. (Doc. No. 21 in Case No. 3:13cr00214). Pursuant
to 21 U.S.C. § 851, the Government filed an Information
Alleging Prior Felony Drug Conviction (Doc. No. 40 in Case
No. 3:13cr214), indicating that the Petitioner had a prior
Tennessee drug trafficking conviction that subjected him to
an enhanced sentence on the drug trafficking charges.
Specifically, the Government alleged that the Petitioner was
subject to a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment on the
first drug trafficking count, and to a maximum sentence of 30
years on the other drug trafficking counts. (Id.)
for the Petitioner in the criminal case filed a motion to
suppress on his behalf, which now-retired Judge Todd J.
Campbell denied after holding an evidentiary hearing. (Doc.
Nos. 26, 35, 42, 44 in Case No. 3:13cr00214). The Petitioner
subsequently pled guilty to Counts One and Two. (Doc. Nos.
50, 51, 80 in Case No. 3:13cr00214). Through the Plea
Agreement, the Government agreed to dismiss the remaining
counts at sentencing and to withdraw the Section 851
Information, and the Petitioner agreed that the conduct
charged in the dismissed counts would be considered relevant
conduct for purposes of sentencing. (Doc. No. 51, at 10-11,
in Case No. 3:13cr00214). The parties also agreed that the
Petitioner would retain his right to appeal the denial of his
suppression motion. (Id., at 17).
subsequent sentencing hearing, on May 27, 2015, Judge
Campbell accepted the determination of the Probation Office
in the Presentence Investigation Report (Doc. No. 76, at
¶ 24, in Case No. 3:13cr00214) that the Petitioner's
base offense level was 24 under U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1 because
he had prior Tennessee convictions for Aggravated Burglary,
Possession of Over .5 Grams of Cocaine With Intent to
Distribute, and Felony Evading Arrest. (Doc. No. 81, at 4, in
Case No. 3:13cr00214). Judge Campbell also concluded that the
Petitioner was a career offender based on the same prior
convictions, which resulted in a total offense level of 31.
(Id., at 4-5; Doc. No. 76, at ¶ 31). Because
the Petitioner had 21 criminal history points, Judge Campbell
determined that he fell within category VI without regard to
the career offender designation. (Id., at 6; Doc.
No. 76, at ¶ 49). Based on a criminal history category
of VI and a total offense level of 31, Judge Campbell
calculated the Petitioner's advisory guideline range as
188 to 235 months of imprisonment, noting that the Petitioner
was subject to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence on
Count Two based on the charged quantity of cocaine base.
(Id., at 6).
for the Petitioner called the Petitioner's sister to
testify on his behalf at the sentencing hearing, and
requested a downward variance to 130 to 162 months of
imprisonment. (Id., at 8-17; 20-26). The Government
requested a sentence of 200 months. (Id., at 18).
After considering the arguments of the parties, Judge
Campbell rejected the suggestions of both sides, and
determined that a sentence at the bottom of the guideline
range - 188 months - was the appropriate sentence.
(Id., at 27-36). Specifically, Judge Campbell
sentenced the Petitioner to 120 months on Count One and 188
months on Count Two, to be served concurrently.
(Id., at 32; Doc. Nos. 70, 71 in Case No.
for the Petitioner appealed the denial of the suppression
motion, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. (Doc. No. 77 in Case
The Petitioner's Claims
his various Motions, the Petitioner raises claims based on
Johnson v. United States, ___U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct.
2551, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015) and Mathis v. United
States, ___U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 2243, 195 L.Ed.2d 604
(2016), as well as an ineffective assistance of counsel
The Section 2255 Remedy
U.S.C. Section 2255 provides federal prisoners with a
statutory mechanism by which to seek to have their sentence
vacated, set aside or corrected:
(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