United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
JOSE F. SANCHEZ-ANGELES, Petitioner
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Respondents
M. MUNLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Jose F. Sanchez-Angeles (“Petitioner”) filed the
instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 on December 29, 2017, challenging his
April 22, 2004 judgment and sentence entered in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
petition is presently ripe for disposition and, for the
reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the petition
for lack of jurisdiction.
February 17, 2004, Jose F. Sanchez-Angeles pleaded guilty [in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Texas] to all counts of a five-count indictment in which he
was charged with: count (1) conspiring to smuggle, transport,
and harbor illegal aliens in violation of 8 U.S.C. §
1324; count (2) harboring illegal aliens in violation of 8
U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii); count (3) providing a
firearm to an illegal alien in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(d)(5)(A); count (4) conspiring to use a firearm during a
crime of violence as alleged in count (5), in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 924(o); and count (5)
conspiring to take one or more hostages in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1203. Each count also alleged aiding and
abetting under 18 U.S.C. § 2. On April 22, 2004,
Sanchez-Angeles was sentenced to, inter alia,
imprisonment for concurrent terms of 120 months on counts
(1), (2) and (3), 240 months on count (4) and life on count
(5), as well as to concurrent terms of supervised release of
three years on each of counts (1) through (4) and five years
on count (5).” United States v.
Sanchez-Angeles, 138 Fed.Appx. 642, 644 (5th Cir. 2005).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
affirmed the judgment and sentence on July 1, 2005.
Petitioner launched a number of collateral attacks. He filed
a motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255,
on June 21, 2001, challenging the imposition of a term of
supervised release. (See U.S. District Court,
Western District of Texas electronic docket, USA v.
Sanchez-Angeles, 1:03-cr-0309, Doc. 45). The district
court denied the motion on July 3, 2007. (Id. at
Doc. 56). He filed a second motion to vacate pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255 on November 2, 2009. (Id. at Doc.
75). The sole issue raised in his second motion was that
“his sentence was unreasonable because it is greater
than necessary, too draconian for purposes of sentencing, and
the Court would not have sentenced him if the Court had
viewed the sentencing guidelines as advisory as required
under United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125
S.Ct. 738 (2005).” (Id. at Doc. 77, p. 2). The
district court dismissed the motion pending authorization
from the court of appeals to file a successive motion.
(Id. at Doc. 77, p. 3; Doc. 84). In 2014, the Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to file a second or
successive § 2255 motion. (Id. at Doc. 98). In
2017, he filed a motion for modification of sentence, which
the district court construed as a motion to vacate under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. (Id. at Docs. 99, 100). On May
31, 2017, the district court dismissed the motion without
prejudice because Petitioner had not obtained approval from
the court of appeals to file a successive motion.
(Id. at Doc. 101).
filed the instant petition claiming actual innocence based on
Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137 (1995),
Rosemond v. United States, 572 U.S. 65 (2014), and
United States v. Prado, 815 F.3d 93 (2d Cir. 2016).
(Doc. 1, pp. 10-17). He also includes ineffective assistance
of counsel claims. (Id.).
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). Petitioner
filed the instant § 2241 petition to challenge the
legality of his conviction and sentence.
petitioner may only resort to a § 2241 petition in the
unusual situation 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.
Importantly, §2255 is not “inadequate or
ineffective” merely because the sentencing court has
previously denied relief. See Id. at 251. Nor do
legislative limitations, such as statutes of limitation or
gatekeeping provisions, as is the case here, 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 Cir. 2000); Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d
at 251.). “Our Circuit permits access to § 2241
when two conditions are satisfied: First, a prisoner must
assert a “claim of ‘actual innocence' on the
theory that ‘he is being detained for conduct that has
subsequently been rendered non-criminal by an intervening
Supreme Court decision' and our own precedent construing
an intervening Supreme Court decision”-in other words,
when there is a change in statutory caselaw that applies
retroactively in cases on collateral review. [United
States v.] Tyler, 732 F.3d  at 246 [(3d
Cir. 2013)] (quoting Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d at 252).
And second, the prisoner must be “otherwise barred from
challenging the legality of the conviction under §
2255.” Id. Stated differently, the prisoner
has “had no earlier opportunity to challenge his
conviction for a crime that an intervening change in
substantive law may negate.” Dorsainvil, 119
F.3d at 251.” Bruce v. Warden Lewisburg USP,
868 F.3d 170, 180 (3d Cir. 2017).
states that “[a]t no time before plea nor during plea
hearing, did plea counsel…the prosecutor, nor the
Court inform or explain to [him] that to charge §924(c)
use and carrying of a firearm, namely, a shotgun, during in
relation to a crime of violence as charged in Count 5, the
Government was required to prove that the firearm was
actively employed meaning an operative factor at trial, and
the Government had that burden of proof beyond a reasonable
doubt to the jury.” (Doc. 1, p. 10). Hence, his plea
was involuntary and unintelligent in light of Bailey v.
United States, 516 U.S. 137 (1995). (Id.) As
Respondents note, Bailey was decided in 1995,
approximately nine years prior to Petitioner's guilty
plea. Thus, any challenges to the legality of the sentence or
claims concerning the effective assistance of counsel based
on Bailey were readily available to Petitioner at
the time he filed his direct appeal and during any collateral
also argues that he is entitled to relief via
§2241 because he “is ‘actually innocent'
of aiding and abetting in the conspiracy to smuggle,
transport and harbor aliens 18 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)
conviction absent advance knowledge of cohorts use or carry
of a firearm during and in relation to crime of violence
§ 924(c), rendering his plea unintelligent and
involuntary in light of Rosemond v. United
States….” (Doc. 1, p. 14).
Rosemond held that in order to convict someone of a
§ 924(c) offense under an aiding and abetting theory,
the government must prove “the defendant actively
participated in the underlying drug trafficking or violent
crime with advance knowledge that a confederate would use or
carry a gun during the crime's commission.”
Rosemond v. U.S., 572 U.S. 65, 67 (2014).
Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction on July
1, 2005. Rosemond was decided on March 5, 2014.
Supreme Court holdings made after a conviction has become
final may not be used as the basis for a collateral challenge
to that conviction unless the rule has retroactive effect.
See, e.g., Schriro v. Summerlin, 542 U.S.
348 (2004); Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 301
(1989). In order to have retroactive application, a Supreme
Court holding must set forth a “new rule” that is
either “substantive” or is a
“‘watershed rule of criminal procedure'
implicating the fundamental fairness and accuracy of the
criminal proceeding.” Schriro, 542 at 351-52.
The holding in a given case qualifies as a “new
rule” if it “breaks new ground or imposes a new
obligation on the States or the Federal Government” and
if “the result was not dictated by precedent existing
at the time the defendant's conviction became
final.” Teague, 489 U.S. at 301.
Rosemond Court did not pronounce that it intended
its holding to be applied retroactively and the rule set
forth therein does not satisfy the requirement of
constituting a “new rule.” The Supreme Court gave
no indication that its holding broke “new
ground.” Rather, it explained at length that existing
precedent dictated its holding. See Rosemond, 572
U.S. at 75-79. Federal courts addressing challenges similar
to Petitioner's have universally concluded that
Rosemond does not apply retroactively. See,
e.g., United States v. Newman, 755 F.3d 543, 546-47
(7th Cir. 2014) (discussing Rosemond in context of direct
appeal from conspiracy conviction); United States v.
Davis, 750 F.3d 1186, 1192-93 (10th Cir. 2014)
(suggesting prospective application only: “After
Rosemond, a jury instruction on aiding and abetting
§ 924(c) should address the defendant's advance
knowledge of the gun.”); Gonzalez v. Baltazar,
No. 3:17-cv-759, 2017 WL 2175804, *3 (M.D. Pa. May 17, 2017);
Williams v. Spaulding; 3:15-cv-1992; 2015 WL
8332424, *3 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 9, 2015); Rodriguez v.
Thomas, 1:14-cv-1121, 2015 WL 179057, *5 (M.D. Pa.
January 14, 2015); United States v. Bentley,
14-cv-4878, 2015 WL 12743602, *2 (E.D. Pa. June 10, 2015);
Taniguchi v. Butler, 14-cv-120, 2014 WL 5063748
(E.D. Ky. ...