United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Tony Meeks 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,
to which Meeks has replied. 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 Meeks' § 2255 motion will be
BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2011, Meeks' pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture
and distribute at least 5 grams of methamphetamine and 50
grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B) [Doc. 116
in No. 4:11-CR-25]. His plea agreement contained a provision
waiving, with limited exceptions, Meeks' rights to file
an appeal or collateral attack [Id. at ¶ 14].
Based on his three prior Tennessee convictions involving
methamphetamine - specifically, manufacturing
methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine with intent to
sell or deliver, and attempting to manufacture
methamphetamine - Meeks was classified as a career offender
with a United States Sentencing Guidelines
(“Guideline(s)”) range of 262 to 327 months'
imprisonment [Presentence Investigation Report
(“PSR”) at ¶¶ 26, 36-38, 63 in No.
4:11-CR-25]. Meeks was ultimately sentenced to 225
months' imprisonment [Doc. 165 in No. 4:11-CR-25]. Meeks
did not appeal.
about June 23, 2017, Meeks filed the instant § 2255
motion challenging his conviction and sentence in light of
the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016) [Doc. 1]. After being
ordered by this Court to file a response or other responsive
pleading, the United States filed its response on December 5,
2017 [Doc. 6]. Meeks thereafter submitted a reply to the
Government's response [Doc. 7]. This matter is ripe for
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).
plea agreement, Meeks expressly “waive[d] the right to
file any motions or pleadings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255” with the exception of “claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial
misconduct” [Doc. 116 in No. 4:11-CR-25]. The excepted
claims are not at issue here.
knowing and voluntary waiver of § 2255 claims is
enforceable. Davila v. United States, 258 F.3d 448,
450-51 (6th Cir. 2001). There is no dispute that Meeks
entered into a knowing and voluntary plea agreement.
Therefore, Meeks' claims are barred by his § 2255
irrelevant that Meeks entered into his waiver before
Mathis was decided. After all, a “plea
agreement allocates risk, and the possibility of a favorable
change in the law after a plea is simply one of the risks
that accompanies pleas and plea agreements.”
Slusser v. United States, 895 F.3d 437, 440 (6th
Cir. 2018) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
Accordingly, Meeks has waived his right to challenge his
sentence under the reasoning of Mathis.
an abundance of caution, the Court considers the merits of
Meeks' arguments. Meeks disputes his career-offender
classification, contending that his prior Tennessee felony
drug convictions are no longer career-offender predicates
after the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis,
because the elements of the offense under the statute ...