Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wilson v. Baltazar

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 23, 2018

EUGENE WILSON, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN BALTAZAR, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge

         Presently before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1), filed by petitioner Eugene Wilson ("Wilson"), a federal inmate confined at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan, in Waymart, Pennsylvania. Wilson challenges his conviction and sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for multiple drug and firearm offenses. (Id.) Wilson claims that he is entitled to federal habeas corpus relief because he was improperly sentenced in light of the Supreme Court's decisions in United States v. Mathis.__U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 2243, 195 L.Ed.2d 604 (2016) and Descamps v. United States. 570 U.S. 254, 133 S.Ct. 2276, 186 L.Ed.2d 438 (2013). (Docs. 1, 4).

         Preliminary review of the petition has been undertaken, see R. GOVERNING § 2254 CASES R.4 (directing prompt examination of the petition and dismissal if it plainly appears that the petitioner is not entitled to relief)[1], and, for the reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.

         I. Background

         On July 15, 1992, Wilson was tried and convicted by a jury on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; three counts of distributing cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); two counts of carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); one count of felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g); and one count of felon in possession of ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). United States v. Wilson, No. 1:92-cr-138 (N.D. Ohio 1992).

         Wilson was sentenced to 562 months imprisonment, followed by six years of supervised release. Id. Wilson filed a direct appeal. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit affirmed all of Wilson's convictions, but remanded for resentencing on the two 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) charges. Id. at Doc. 153. On remand, these two charges were merged for one sentence and one special assessment was abated. Id.

         Five years later, Wilson filed his first § 2255 petition. Id. The sentencing court dismissed the petition as untimely because it was filed beyond the one-year statute of limitations. Id. Wilson appealed to the Sixth Circuit. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit construed the notice of appeal as an application for a certificate of appealability. Wilson v. United States, No. 99-4363 (6th Cir. Apr. 4, 2000). The Sixth Circuit denied the application. Id.

         Wilson then filed three additional § 2255 petitions. United States v. Wilson, No. 1:92-cr-138 at Doc. 153. The Sixth Circuit denied each of these petitions. In re Wilson, No. 06- 3012 (6th Cir. Aug. 14, 2006); In re Wilson, No. 03-3222 (6th Cir. June 12, 2003); In re Wilson, No. 01-3792 (6th Cir. Feb. 4, 2002).

         In June 2012, Wilson filed a fourth § 2255 motion. United States v. Wilson, No. 1:92-cr-138 at Doc. 146. Wilson argued that his drug conviction for violating 18 U.S.C. § 841 was invalid because the conduct he engaged in had been decriminalized by the Supreme Court's decision in DePierre v. United States, 540 U.S. 70, 131 S.Ct. 2225, 180 L.Ed.2d 114 (2011). Id. The district court denied the § 2255 motion, and noted that Wilson failed to obtain authorization to file a § 2255 motion, and that Wilson's claim lacked merit. Id. at Doc. 153. The district court also denied Wilson a certificate of appealability. Id. at Doc. 154. Wilson then moved in the Sixth Circuit for a certificate of appealability. Id. at Doc. 158. The Sixth Circuit construed Wilson's application for a certificate of appealability as a motion for permission to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. Id. at Doc. 160. The Sixth Circuit denied Wilson's. Id. Specifically, the Court found that Wilson's claim did not rely on newly discovered evidence sufficient to establish that no reasonable factfinder would find him guilty of the drug offenses, and did not rely on a new rule of constitutional law made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court that was previously unavailable. Id.

         Wilson then moved for authorization to file a second or successive motion to vacate in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Id. at Doc. 162. Wilson argued that he should not have been sentenced as a career offender and armed career criminal because his prior convictions for aggravated assault and theft no longer qualified as "crimes of violence" for purposes of the career offender enhancement, see USSG § 4Bl.2(a), or "violent felonies" under the Armed Career Criminal Act, see 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). Id. The Sixth Circuit denied Wilson's motion for authorization to file a second or successive motion to vacate, and found that Wilson failed to show that he is entitled to relief based on Johnson because at least three of his prior convictions remained valid predicate offenses. Id.

         Wilson filed the instant petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the career offender sentence enhancement and asserting a right to be released on the grounds of actual innocence of the career offender enhancement. (Doc. 1).

         II. Discussion

         Challenges to the legality of federal convictions or sentences that are allegedly in violation of the Constitution may generally be brought only in the district of sentencing pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 342 (1974)); see In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245 (3d Cir. 1997). Once relief is sought via section 2255, an individual is prohibited from filing a second or subsequent 2255 petition unless the request for relief is based on "newly discovered evidence" or a "new rule of constitutional law." 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

         Further, such claims may not be raised in a § 2241 petition except in unusual situations where the remedy by motion under § 2255 would be inadequate or ineffective. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255; see Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 251-52. The burden is on the habeas petitioner to allege or demonstrate inadequacy or ineffectiveness. See Application of Galante, 437 F.2d 1164, 1165 (3d Cir. 1971). Importantly, § 2255 is not "inadequate or ineffective" merely because the sentencing court has previously denied relief. See Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 251. Nor do legislative limitations, such as statutes of limitation or gatekeeping provisions, placed on § 2255 proceedings render the remedy inadequate or ineffective so as to authorize pursuit of a habeas corpus petition in this court. Cradle v. United States, 290 F.3d 536, 539 (3d Cir. 2002); United States v. Brooks, 230 F.3d 643, 647 (3d ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.