United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Terell Buford has filed a motion, as supplemented, to
vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. Respondent has filed a response in opposition to
the motion. Having considered the pleadings and the record,
along with the relevant law, the Court finds that it is
unnecessary to hold an evidentiary hearing, and Buford's
§ 2255 motion will be denied.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
receiving information that drugs were being distributed from
a store solely owned and operated by Buford, law enforcement
officers obtained a search warrant to search that store for
evidence of narcotics trafficking [Doc. 12 p. 2 in No.
1:14-CR-32]. While executing the warrant, officers found a
loaded .22 pistol and resale quantities of marijuana,
cocaine, and cocaine base [Id.]. Buford admitted
that the gun was his, that he had been distributing drugs
from his store, and that he had a previous felony conviction
[Id. at 2-3]. Thereafter, Buford pleaded guilty to
possessing a firearm as a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1) [Docs. 15-18 in No. 1:14-CR-32].
on his prior Tennessee convictions for two aggravated
robberies, an aggravated burglary, an aggravated assault, and
possessing cocaine for resale [see Doc. 19
¶¶ 36, 37, 39, and 45 in No. 1:14-CR-32], Buford
was deemed an armed career criminal under the Armed Career
Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e),
and was sentenced to 200 months' imprisonment [Doc. 67 in
No. 1:14-CR-32]. Aggrieved, Buford appealed, and his appeal
was rejected by the Sixth Circuit by order filed October 5,
2015 [Doc. 79 in No. 1:14-CR-32].
signed the instant § 2255 motion on September 1, 2016,
and it was stamped “filed” in this Court on
September 9, 2016 [Doc. 1]. The Court ordered the United
States to respond to the motion, and the Government filed its
response on October 5, 2016 [Doc. 5]. Thereafter, Buford
filed a reply to the response in October 2016 and a
supplement to his initial § 2255 motion in December 2016
[Docs. 7 and 8]. Subsequently, over the next fifteen months,
Buford filed numerous motions to supplement his petition to
add additional claims and citations to legal authority [Docs.
9, 11, 12, 17, and 18]. On April 25, 2019, the Court granted
Buford's motions to supplement his petition, noting that
Buford should not construe the grant of his motions “as
a ruling as to the merits or timeliness of any” of the
supplements [Doc. 25].
defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights,
a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally
convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S.
152, 164 (1982). A court may grant relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, but the statute “does not encompass all
claimed errors in conviction and sentencing.”
United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185
(1979). Rather, collateral attack limits a movant's
allegations to those of constitutional or jurisdictional
magnitude, or those containing factual or legal errors
“so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding
invalid.” Short v. United States, 471 F.3d
686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
Sentencing relief under Johnson
noted above, Buford was sentenced as an armed career criminal
under the ACCA, which requires a 15-year minimum sentence for
a felon who unlawfully possesses a firearm after having
sustained three prior convictions “for a violent felony
or a serious drug offense, or both.” 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(1). The statute defines a “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-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. §
Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court struck
down the residual clause of the ACCA as violative of due
process. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563. However, the
Court held that its decision did not apply “to the four
enumerated offenses, or the remainder of the Act's
definition of a violent felony.” Id.
Therefore, “a defendant can still receive an
ACCA-enhanced sentence based on the statute's
use-of-force clause or enumerated offense clause.”
United States v. Priddy, 808 F.3d 676, 683 (5th Cir.
2015); see also United States v. Smith, 817 F.3d
492, 493 (6th Cir. 2016) (rejecting vagueness challenge to
the ACCA's enumerated-offense clause).
Tennessee convictions for aggravated robberies are unaffected
by Johnson, because these convictions qualify as
violent felonies under the ACCA's use-of-force clause.
United States v. Mitchell, 743 F.3d 1054, 1058-60
(6th Cir. 2014); see also United States v. Taylor,
800 F.3d 701, 719 (6th Cir. 2015) (“[T]he Supreme
Court's holding in Johnson leaves unaffected
this Court's determination that simple robbery in
Tennessee is a predicate offense under ‘the use of