United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge
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).
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), and, for the reasons set
forth below, the court will dismiss the petition for lack of
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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 ...