United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
William W. Caldwell, United States District Judge
September 2002, the pro se defendant, Eric Craft, pled guilty
to an information charging him with a violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(j), causing the death of another by use of a gun
during a drug-trafficking offense. He was sentenced to 480
months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
We have pending before us Defendant's motion (Doc. 462)
for leave of court to file a 28 U.S.C. § 2241
petition.The 2241 petition is attached to the motion
as Doc. 462-1.
petition attacks Defendant's conviction and sentence,
relying on Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S. ___,
135 S.Ct. 2552, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015). In Johnson,
the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutionally vague
under the Fifth Amendment the residual clause in 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) defining a “violent felony,
” a clause used for the purpose of imposing an
increased sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1).
Id. at ___, 135 S.Ct. at 2557.
grant the motion for leave to file the 2241 petition, and
will treat the petition as having already been filed. We will
dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction as Defendant
had available to him a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by
way of gaining the approval of the Third Circuit to file a
second or successive 2255 motion.
was named in an original and then in a superseding
September 11, 2002, he executed a written plea agreement,
agreeing to plead guilty to a superseding information
alleging a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j), causing the
death of another by use of a gun during a drug-trafficking
offense. (Doc. 65, plea agreement ¶ 1). In return, the
government agreed to dismiss the superseding indictment.
(Id.). In pertinent part, the superseding
information, filed on September 11, 2002, read as follows:
On or about April 23, 2001, in Harrisburg, Dauphin County,
Pennsylvania, within the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the
did use a .380 caliber handgun . . . during and in relation
to a drug trafficking crime for which the defendant may be
prosecuted in a court of the United States, that is, the
unlawful distribution of cocaine base, also known as
“crack” cocaine, and conspiracy to do the same,
and along with other unindicted co-conspirators did, through
the use of said firearm, murder Lavelle Gamble a/k/a
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section
924(j); Section 2.
September 12, 2002, Defendant pled guilty to the section
924(j) offense. At that time, he also agreed to waive
indictment by a grand jury and to plead to the information.
(Doc. 106, guilty-plea colloquy, p. 5). On May 8, 2003, he
was sentenced to 480 months of imprisonment and five years of
direct appeal was denied. United States v. Craft,
139 F.App'x 372 (3d Cir. 2005)(nonprecedential), and the
Supreme Court denied certiorari, 546 U.S. 995, 126 S.Ct. 592,
163 L.Ed.2d 493 (2005). Defendant then filed a motion under
28 U.S.C. § 2255, which we denied in December 2006.
United States v. Craft, 2006 WL 3831386 (M.D. Pa.).
In July 2007, the Third Circuit denied a certificate of
appealability. United States v. Craft, No. 07-1060
(3d Cir. July 30, 2007). Since then, Defendant has filed