United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
L. COLLIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Junior Jacks has filed a motion 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 Jacks' § 2255
motion will be denied.
BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2015, while on supervised release for a prior federal
drug-trafficking conviction, Jacks purchased methamphetamine
on multiple occasions and personally redistributed at least
50 grams of methamphetamine to others (Doc. 42 in No.
4:15-CR-14). He pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute at
least 50 grams of actual methamphetamine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and 846
stipulated drug quantity yielded a base offense level of 30
(Doc. 80 ¶ 25 in No. 4:15-CR-14). Because Jacks had two
prior convictions for controlled substance offenses - a 2000
Tennessee conviction for possession of methamphetamine with
intent to distribute, and a 2004 federal conviction for
attempting to manufacture methamphetamine - he was deemed a
career offender under United States Sentencing Guideline
(“Guideline(s)”) § 4B1.1, with a
corresponding offense level of 37 (id. at
¶¶ 31, 58-59). After a three-level reduction for
acceptance of responsibility, his total offense level was 34
(id. at ¶¶ 32-34). Given his criminal
history category of VI, Jacks' Guideline range was 262 to
327 months' imprisonment (id. at ¶¶
sentencing, this Court granted the Government's motion
for downward departure and sentenced Jacks to 204 months'
imprisonment (Doc. 127 in No. 4:15-CR-14; Doc. 134 p. 6-7,
29-30 in No. 4:15-CR-14). The Sixth Circuit affirmed that
judgment in August 2017 (Doc. 137 in No. 4:15-CR-14).
meantime, while his appeal was pending, Jacks filed the
instant motion, contesting the propriety of his
career-offender classification after the Supreme Court's
decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243
(2016) (Doc. 1). This Court ordered the United States to
respond, and Respondent complied with the order by filing a
response on March 13, 2019 (Doc. 6).
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).
disputes his career-offender classification, contending that
his prior Tennessee felony drug conviction is no longer a
career-offender predicate after the Supreme Court's
decision in Mathis, because the elements of the
offense under the statute are allegedly broader than those
constituting a controlled substance offense under the
preliminary matter, the Court notes that a challenge to the
calculation of an advisory Guidelines range ordinarily cannot
be reviewed under § 2255. See, e.g., Gibbs
v. United States, 655 F.3d 473, 479 (6th Cir. 2011)
(noting because Guidelines are advisory, a Guidelines-based
claim “does not raise an argument that [a petitioner]
is ineligible for the sentence he received”).
Jacks has not proven error in the calculation of his
Guidelines range. To determine whether a prior conviction is
a controlled substance offense under § 4B1.2, courts
ordinarily apply a categorical approach, which requires the
reviewing court to compare the elements of the statute of
conviction with the “generic elements” of the
offense. Mathis, 136 S.Ct. at 2248; Descamps v.
United States, 570 U.S. 254, 257 (2013). If the elements
of the statute of conviction are broader than those
comprising the generic offense, then the conviction cannot
qualify as a violent felony, regardless of the particular
facts of the case. See, e.g., Mathis, 136 S.Ct. at
the statute of conviction is “divisible, ” in
that it lists elements in the alternative to define several
different variants of the crime, courts may employ the
“modified categorical approach” in order to
evaluate which of the alternative elements constituted the
offense of conviction. See, e.g., Mathis,
136 S.Ct. at 2249; United States v. House, 872 F.3d
748, 753 (6th Cir. 2017). Applying the modified categorical
approach in this case would require the Court to decide
whether any of the alternatives match the federal definition
of a controlled substance offense, and, if so, consult a
limited set of documents (referred to as Shepard
documents) to determine the elements of the crime of
conviction. See id.; see also Shepard v. United
States, 125 S.Ct. 1254 (2005). In conducting its
inquiry, the Court's concern is not “whether the
elements of the [state statute] contain the same words as the
Guidelines' definition [of a controlled substance
offense]” but rather, “it is ...