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Rodriguez v. Spaulding

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

August 14, 2014

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN SPAULDING, Respondent

MEMORANDUM

MALACHY E. MANNION, District Judge.

Petitioner, Edwin Rodriguez, an inmate currently confined in the Allenwood Federal Correctional Institution ("FCI-Allenwood"), White Deer, Pennsylvania, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). He challenges a conviction and sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus.

II. Procedural Background

On November 20, 1996, Petitioner was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to a term of 360 months of imprisonment following his conviction on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.[1] See United States v. Rodriguez, Criminal Action No. 2:94-cr-0192-LS-10 (USDC E.D. Pa. (Philadelphia)). Rodriguez's conviction and sentence was affirmed on direct appeal. See United States v. Rodriguez, 168 F.3d 480 (Table)(3d Cir. 1998).

On November 3, 1999, Rodriguez filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See United States v. Rodriguez, Criminal Action No. 2:94-cr-0192-LS-10 (USDC E.D. Pa. (Philadelphia)). After an evidentiary hearing, the District Court denied Petitioner's § 2255 motion and Petitioner filed a timely appeal. Id . On November 22, 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit declined to issue a certificate of appealability. See United States v. Rodriguez, No. 01-3908 (3d Cir. Nov. 22, 2002).

In May 2003, Rodriguez filed in the District Court a motion under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking reconsideration of the District Court's denial of his § 2255 motion. See United States v. Rodriguez, Criminal Action No. 2:94-cr-0192-LS-10 (USDC E.D. Pa. (Philadelphia)). The District Court denied the motion. Id . On appeal, the Third Circuit construed Rodriguez's Rule 60(b) motion as a second or successive § 2255 motion, and, following a limited remand, denied Rodriguez's request for a COA. See United States v. Rodriguez, No. 03-2987 (3d Cir. June 10, 2004). The Court of Appeals also denied his subsequent application to file a second or successive § 2255 motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244. See In re Rodriguez, No. 04-4340 (3d Cir. Jan. 5, 2005).

On June 12, 2008, Rodriguez filed in the District Court a "consolidated motion for, and brief in support of petitioner's resentencing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3582(c)(2), 3553(a)(1), (6), 3661 and United States v. Booker case law." See USA v. Rodriguez, Criminal Action No. 2:94-cr-0192-LS-10 (USDC E.D. Pa. (Philadelphia)). In that application, Rodriguez urged the District Court to re-sentence him in light of Booker, and through the mechanism of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). Id . He also challenged his sentence enhancement as a career offender, and argued that his overall sentence is excessive compared to, as he characterizes them, his more culpable co-conspirators. Id . By order dated October 22, 2008, the District Court construed Rodriguez's application as an improper second or successive § 2255 motion, and dismissed it on that ground. Id . On December 15, 2008, Rodriguez filed a notice of appeal. Id . On May 15, 2009, finding that Rodriguez failed to comply with the AEDPA's stringent gatekeeping requirements for filing a second or successive § 2255 motion, the court construed Rodriguez's notice of appeal as a request for a certificate of appealability, and denied the request. United States v. Rodriguez, 327 Fed.Appx. 327 (3d Cir. May 15, 2009).

On December 14, 2010, Rodriguez filed a petition for writ of audita querela claiming that he was entitled to resentencing. See United States v. Rodriguez, Criminal Action No. 2:94-cr-0192-LS-10 (USDC E.D. Pa. (Philadelphia)). On July 12, 2011, the District Court denied the petition and Rodriguez filed a notice of appeal on July 19, 2011. Id . On October 5, 2011, the United States Court of Appeal affirmed the District Court's denial of the petition for writ of audita querela, finding the following:

We agree with the District Court's conclusion that Rodriguez may not seek sentencing relief though a petition for a writ of audita querela. "Where a statute specifically addresses the particular issue at hand, it is that authority, and not the All Writs Act, that is controlling." Massey v. United States , 581 F.3d 172, 174 (3d Cir. 2009) (internal quotation omitted). A motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the proper avenue to challenge his sentence. Id . We note that Rodriguez has already filed one such motion, which was unsuccessful, as well as two unsuccessful applications pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244 for authorization to file a successive § 2255 motion. Nevertheless, Rodriguez "may not seek relief through a petition for a writ of audita querela on the basis of his inability to satisfy the requirements of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996." Id.

United States v. Rodriguez, 446 Fed.Appx. 439 (3d Cir. Oct. 5, 2011).

On October 23, 2013, Rodriguez filed an application for leave to file a second or successive petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b) with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which was denied on December 3, 2013. See In re Edwin Rodriguez, No. 13-4164 (3d Cir. Oct. 23, 2013).

On May 20, 2014, Rodriguez filed a second application for leave to file a second or successive petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b) with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which was denied on June 10, 2014. See In re Edwin Rodriguez, No. 14-2771 (3d Cir. May 20, 2014).

On July 8, 2014, Rodriguez filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, in which he claims that his "prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter, in violation of 18 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 2504(a) no longer constitutes a crime of violence' in light of the new interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(B)(ii), by the Supreme Court in Begay[2]", and that "[he] is actually innocent of being a ...


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