United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE.
reasons explained in this Entry, the motion of Jeffrey
Garrett for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be
denied and the action dismissed with
prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of
appealability should not issue.
The § 2255 Motion
jury trial in 2004, petitioner Jeffrey Garrett was convicted
of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of
crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(iii) (count one), and possession
of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (count two). 1:03-cr-0062-SEB-DML-1
(“Crim. Dkt.”); United States v.
Garrett, 321 Fed.Appx. 514 (7th Cir. April 10, 2009). He
was found to be a career offender based on two prior felony
drug convictions. 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(A)(iii)
and 851. He was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in
prison on count one, and 60 months on count two, to be served
Garrett's two prior felony drug convictions are a 1994
Indiana felony conviction for dealing in cocaine (Crim. Dkt.
#18, Information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851) and a 1989
Indiana felony conviction for possession of cocaine (Crim.
Dkt. #61, Information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851). His
convictions were affirmed on appeal. United States v.
Garrett, 139 Fed.Appx. 720 (7th Cir. July 11, 2005).
22, 2016, Mr. Garrett brought this motion under § 2255,
by counsel, alleging that he is entitled to relief under
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015),
made retroactive by Welch v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 1257 (2016). Counsel's motion to withdraw was
granted on March 3, 2017, dkt. 6, and Mr. Garrett has
proceeded in this action pro se. The United States
has responded to Mr. Garrett's claim, and the action is
ripe for resolution.
motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive
means by which a federal prisoner can challenge his
conviction or sentence. See Davis v. United States,
417 U.S. 333, 343 (1974). A court may grant relief from a
federal conviction or sentence pursuant to § 2255
“upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States,
or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such
sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum
authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral
attack.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). “Relief under
§ 2255 is available only in extraordinary situations,
such as an error of constitutional or jurisdictional
magnitude or where a fundamental defect has occurred which
results in a complete miscarriage of justice.”
United States v. Coleman, 763 F.3d 706, 708 (7th
Cir. 2014) (internal quotation omitted).
this action was filed, Mr. Garrett's claim was that he
was improperly sentenced under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines and that his prior convictions of resisting law
enforcement and robbery no longer qualified as “crimes
of violence” under the career offender provision of the
Guidelines. Following the Supreme Court's decision in
Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017),
counsel withdrew. Beckles held that the advisory
Sentencing Guidelines' residual clause defining a
“crime of violence” as an offense that
“involves conduct that presents a serious potential
risk of physical injury to another, ” §
4B1.2(a)(2), is “not subject to vagueness challenges
under the Due Process Clause.” Id. at 890.
Therefore, Mr. Garrett's Beckles claim fails.
Garrett now argues that his 1988 Indiana robbery conviction
cannot be used to establish his sentence as a career offender
under guideline § 4B1.1, relying on Mathis v. United
States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). Mr. Garrett's prior
convictions of the 1989 and 1994 felony drug offenses
required that he be sentenced to a mandatory term of life
imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii); see
Garrett, 321 Fed.Appx. at 516; United States v.
Garrett, No. 16-2550 (7th Cir. Sept. 28, 2016)
(affirming that Mr. Garrett's sentence was imposed
pursuant to the statutory mandatory minimum in 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A)(iii) based on those two prior felony
drug convictions). Mr. Garrett does not challenge
either of those prior convictions. Therefore, his
Mathis argument provides him no relief.
of the reasons discussed above, Mr. Garrett is not entitled
evidentiary hearing is “not required when ‘the
files and records of the case conclusively show that the
prisoner is entitled to no relief.'” Lafuente
v. United States,617 F.3d 944, 946 (7th Cir. 2010)
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b)). ...