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Raftopoulos v. Krueger

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

September 25, 2018

JOHN RAFTOPOULOS, Petitioner,
v.
JEFFREY KRUEGER, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2241 AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Petitioner John Raftopoulos seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He argues that he is entitled to relief under Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), because he does not have the necessary predicate convictions to qualify as a career offender under Section 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.). For the reasons explained below, his petition is denied.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Petitioner John Raftopoulos is an inmate currently housed at the United States Penitentiary, located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Raftopoulos was indicted in the Middle District of Florida and pleaded guilty to one count of robbery of a bank using force and violence or intimidation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a).

         Raftopoulos's presentence report (“PSR”) used the 2012 Guidelines Manual to determine his offense level. Pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B3.1, Raftopoulos had a base offense level of 20. Two level were added because the property belonged to a financial institution, pursuant to § 2B3.1(b)(1). Two levels were added since Raftopoulos engaged in conduct that instilled fear of death in the victim teller, pursuant to § 2B3.1(b)(2)(F). Raftopoulos's adjusted offense level was 24.

         The PSR identified several prior convictions: grand theft, burglary of a vehicle, battery, resisting arrest with violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and bank robbery. However, the two identified by the PSR for purposes of the career offender enhancement were a 1991 Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) in the Southern District of Florida, and a 2000 Bank Robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2113, in the Southern District of Florida. Since it was determined that Raftopoulos was a career offender as defined in § 4B1.1, his total offense level became 29.

         Raftopoulos received a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, leaving him with a total offense level of 26. Raftopoulos was found to have a criminal history category of VI. Based on a total offense level of 26 and a criminal history category of VI, Raftopoulos's guideline imprisonment range was 120 to 150 months' imprisonment.

         On June 4, 2013, Raftopoulos was sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment. Raftopoulos appealed his sentence and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Raftopolous's sentence and found:

The district court reasonably determined that a sentence at the low end of Raftopolous's advisory guideline range of 120 to 150 months of imprisonment was necessary to address his crime; his lack of respect for the law; his history of offenses involving “force and violence”; and to prevent him from committing future similar crimes that endangered the public. See United States v. Talley, 431 F.3d 784, 788 (11th Cir. 2005). Moreover, Raftopoulos faced a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years, but was incorrectly assigned an offense level of 29 instead of an offense level of 32, see United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 4B1.1(b) (Nov. 2012), which would have resulted in a guidelines range between 151 and 188 months of imprisonment, id. ch. 5, pt. A. The district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing a sentence of 120 months, which is well below the statutory maximum penalty for Raftopolous's offense. See United States v. Gonzalez, 550 F.3d 1319, 1324 (11th Cir. 2008).

United States v. Raftopoulos, 556 Fed.Appx. 864 (11th Cir. 2014).

         On June 24, 2016, Raftopoulos filed a motion to vacate his sentence asserting that after Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) his possession of a firearm conviction no longer qualified as a crime of violence. When Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017), was decided, Raftopoulos dismissed his § 2255 motion.

         Now before the Court is Raftopoulos's petition for a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 challenging his sentence.

         II. Discussion

         Raftopoulos alleges he is no longer a career offender under the Sentencing Guidelines in view of the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). In particular, he claims that his 1990 conviction for possession of a firearm no longer qualifies him as a career offender under ยง 4B1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines. The respondent argues that this Court ...


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