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United States v. Rhea

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

May 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent,
v.
GREGORY ALLEN RHEA Petitioner.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          J. RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is the motion of Gregory Allen Rhea (“Rhea” or “Petitioner”), a federal inmate, to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255, [Doc. 647], as well as a motion to “amend in light of Dean v. United States, ” [Doc. 686]. The United States has responded in opposition to the §2255 motion, [Doc. 651], and Petitioner has replied, [Doc. 661]. Because the records and files of the case conclusively establish that Petitioner is not entitled to relief under §2255, no evidentiary hearing is necessary. Petitioner's motion to amend is futile and will be denied. For the reasons which follow, the Court finds Petitioner's §2255 motion meritless and it will likewise be DENIED and DISMISSED with prejudice.

         I. Procedural and Factual Background

         A federal grand jury indicted Rhea and eleven co-defendants on October 10, 2012, [Doc. 3]. A superseding indictment was returned on June 11, 2013, [Doc. 252]. Rhea was charged in twenty counts with drug, firearms, and money laundering crimes, [Id.]. On August 13, 2013, Rhea agreed to plead guilty, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, to Counts One (conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§841(b)(1)(C) and 846), Twelve (possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)(A)), Fourteen (using or maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §856(a)(1), and Seventeen (conspiracy to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(b)(1)(B) and 846), with the remaining counts to be dismissed, [Docs. 296, 316]. As a factual basis for his guilty pleas, Petitioner stipulated to the following facts:

a) Through the testimony of several witnesses, including law enforcement officers, the United States would demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that beginning from approximately December 1, 2003, to December 14, 2004, and from approximately January 1, 2008, continuing to on or about October 10, 2012, in the Eastern District of Tennessee, and elsewhere, the defendant did knowingly and intentionally conspire with at least one other person to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. During the time period of the conspiracy, the defendant admits that he entered into an agreement with co-defendants Gerald Allen Homer, Ryan Michael Guesford, Joey Wayne Vanover, Kara Leanne Greene, Ashley Nicole Gray Patterson, Johnny Wayne Neeley, Kerry Glenn Nelson, Kimberly Ann Vanover, Ricky Allen Seal, Tamara Michelle Moles, aka Tamara Michelle Parkey-Moles, and Ricky Tim Collins, and others to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. The defendants obtained oxycodone from numerous physicians in the Eastern District of Tennessee and in the state of Florida for the purpose of distributing oxycodone in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
b) During the time period of the conspiracy, the defendant also admits that he entered into an agreement with co-defendants Gerald Homer, Kara Greene, Ashley Patterson, and others to distribute methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. The defendants obtained methamphetamine from numerous sources in the Eastern District of Tennessee, in the state of Georgia, and in the state of Florida for use and distribution in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
c) The defendant admits that he directed co-defendants Gerald Homer, Kara Greene, and Ashley Patterson to travel to the state of Georgia to acquire methamphetamine. The defendant admits that he supplied United States currency to finance their travels to the state of Georgia for the purpose of obtaining methamphetamine.
d) The defendant admits that he directed co-defendants Gerald Homer, Ryan Guesford, Joey Vanover, Kera Greene, Ashley Patterson, Johnny Neeley, Kerry Nelson, Kimberly Vanover, Tamara Moles, and others to travel to the state of Florida to acquire oxycodone from numerous physicians at various pain clinics. The defendant admits that he supplied United States currency to finance their travels to the state of Florida, as well as transportation and airline tickets on occasion, for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone.
e) The defendant admits that he directed co-defendants Gerald Homer, Ryan Guesford, Joey Vanover, Kera Greene, Ashley Patterson, Johnny Neeley, Kerry Nelson, Kimberly Vanover, Tamara Moles, and others to travel to the state of Florida to acquire oxycodone from numerous physicians at various pain clinics. The defendant admits that he supplied United States currency to finance their travels to the state of Florida, as well as transportation and airline tickets on occasion, for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone.
f) The defendant admits that he traveled to the state of Florida with co-defendants Gerald Homer, Ryan Guesford, Joey Vanover, Kara Greene, Ashley Patterson, Johnny Neeley, Kerry Nelson, Kimberly Vanover, Tamara Moles, and others for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone, and that he, his co-defendants, and others transported oxycodone back from the state of Florida to the Eastern District of Tennessee for the purpose of distribution.
g) The defendant further admits that he directed some of his co-defendants and others to travel to pain clinics located through the Eastern District of Tennessee to acquire oxycodone. The defendant admits that he supplied United States currency to finance trips to pain clinics in the Eastern District of Tennessee, as well as currency for the payment of medical and prescription bills, all for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone for distribution in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
h) The defendant admits that he organized trips for other co-defendants to visit physicians at pain clinics in the Eastern District of Tennessee and in the state of Florida for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone to distribute in the Eastern District of Tennessee. The defendant admits that he traveled to the state of Florida on at least fifteen (15) occasions for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone and other controlled substances from pain clinics to distribute in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
i) The defendant admits that he recruited other individuals to make appointments with a certain physician at a pain clinic in Kingsport, Tennessee, for the purpose of obtaining additional oxycodone pills to distribute in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
j) The defendant admits that he knew that the oxycodone he obtained from physicians in the Eastern District of Tennessee and the state of Florida was distributed in the Eastern District of Tennessee by himself, co-defendants, and others.
k) The defendant admits that he knew that the methamphetamine he obtained from sources in the Eastern District of Tennessee and the state of Georgia was distributed in the Eastern District of Tennessee by himself, co-defendants, and others.
l) The defendant admits that he directed some of his co-defendants to distribute oxycodone on his behalf in the Eastern District of Tennessee, and that he supplied oxycodone to his co-defendants for distribution.
m) On October 10, 2008, 1.4 grams of methamphetamine and 305 dose units of thirty (30) milligram oxycodone were discovered at the defendant's residence in Rogersville, Tennessee, pursuant to a consent search. The defendant admits that the 1.4 grams of methamphetamine and 305 dose units of oxycodone discovered at his residence belonged to him and that he intended to distribute both controlled substances.
n) On March 27, 2011, the defendant was stopped at the McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tennessee, while en route to Florida. The defendant was found to be in possession of $68, 100 in United States currency, which was subsequently seized. The defendant admits that the $68, 100 seized on that date was the proceeds of his drug trafficking activities, specifically, the distribution of oxycodone and methamphetamine. The defendant further admits that he was attempting to conceal and disguise the source of the $68, 100, which were the proceeds of his drug trafficking activities, by attempting to enter into a real estate transaction in the state of Florida.
o) The Morristown Police Department began investigating the drug trafficking activities of the defendant utilizing a confidential informant in 2011. From July 29, 2011, to September 18, 2012, nine undercover drug transactions occurred, all of which resulted in the purchase of oxycodone from the defendant and some of his ...

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