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Jackson v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

July 29, 2019

DOUGLAS D. JACKSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE

         Douglas Jackson was convicted of three counts of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that she engage in illegal sexual activity, see 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a), three counts of sex trafficking of a minor, see 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a), and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (sex trafficking of a minor), see 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). This Court sentenced Mr. Jackson to a term of 295 months' imprisonment. Mr. Jackson appealed his sentence and his conviction regarding the one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. That appeal process is still pends, but Mr. Jackson now asks that the court vacate the entirety of his conviction and sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [Doc. No. 109]. For the following reasons, Mr. Jackson's motion is denied.

         I. Background

         In May 2014, Mr. Jackson met J.T., a minor, at a high school party in South Bend, Indiana. J.T. was fifteen and Mr. Jackson was twenty-five. Mr. Jackson asked J.T. if she was interested in making some money, but he didn't say how. Shortly thereafter, on June 6, 2014, Mr. Jackson drove J.T. from South Bend, Indiana to Atlanta, Georgia. When in Atlanta, Mr. Jackson used his cell phone and a prepaid credit card to post an ad in the Atlanta section of the classified advertising website “Backpage.com, ” which contained an adult section advertising different categories of sex work.

         The Backpage.com ad “displayed the title, ‘Sexy star beautiful mixed puerto rican in town looking for a great time.'” The phone number listed on the ad was connected to a prepaid flip phone that Jackson had bought. He used this number to text customers, and J.T. engaged in sex acts for money with these customers while in Atlanta. Mr. Jackson and J.T. made similar trips from South Bend to Louisville, Kentucky and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

         While in Grand Rapids, Mr. Jackson and J.T. were arrested in a motel parking lot. During the arrest, police identified a box of condoms and a firearm for which Mr. Jackson had an Indiana permit. After their arrest, J.T. “admitted that she was in Grand Rapids for prostitution.” At a jury trial, Mr. Jackson was convicted three counts of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that she engage in illegal sexual activity, see 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a), three counts of sex trafficking of a minor, see 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a), and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (sex trafficking of a minor), see 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The court sentenced Mr. Seay to an aggregate term of 295 months' imprisonment.

         The court of appeals vacated Mr. Jackson's conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). United States v. Jackson, 865 F.3d 946 (7th Cir. 2016). The United States appealed the court of appeals' decision and petitioned for a writ of certiorari from the United States Supreme Court. United States v. Jackson, No. 15-3693 (7th Cir. 2017). On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Seventh Circuit for further consideration considering its decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018). United States v. Jackson, 138 S.Ct. 1983 (2018). The case was briefed and reargued in the court of appeals, but disposition of the appeal was later stayed pending the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Davis, 588 U.S.__ (2019). Id. at R. 82.

         II. Discussion

         Notwithstanding the appellate procedings regarding the single count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), Mr. Jackson now attacks his sentence and conviction by alleging that his venue was improper as the acts connected to his sentence and conviction occurred outside of the Northern District of Indiana. Mr. Jackson also alleges that counsel provided ineffective assistance by not objecting to the improper venue.

         The rules governing petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provide that once a motion is filed:

The motion, together with all the files, records, transcripts, and correspondence relating to the judgment under attack, shall be examined promptly by the judge to whom it is assigned. If it plainly appears from the face of the motion and any annexed exhibits and the prior proceedings in the case that the movant is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge shall make an order for its summary dismissal and cause the movant to be notified.

Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts. Mr. Jackson's petition can be resolved without a hearing. See Bruce v. United States, 256 F.3d 592, 597 (7th Cir. 2001); Daniels v. United States, 54 F.3d 290, 293 (7th Cir. 1995).

         Mr. Jackson argues that the court should vacate his conviction because venue was improper. He says that since the acts of prostitution occurred outside the Northern District of Indiana the only proper venue would be districts where the prostitution occurred. Because Mr. Bishop didn't challenge venue before trial and didn't raise this issue on direct appeal or provide cause for not doing so, the court can't reach the merits of a collateral attack.

         If Mr. Jackson believed that venue was improper, he was required to challenge the indictment before trial. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(b). Because he didn't challenge the indictment before trial, he waived any suppression argument unless he can show good cause. Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(c)(3); United States v. Cardena, 842 F.3d 959, 988 (7th Cir. 2016). And because Mr. Jackson didn't pursue an appeal on this issue, he can't raise it “on collateral review unless [he] shows cause and prejudice, ” Massaro v. United States, 538 U.S. 500, 504 (2003), or actual innocence. Delatorre v. United States, 847 F.3d 837, 843 (7th Cir. 2017). Since Mr. Jackson offers no cause for not moving to challenge venue before trial or pursuing an appeal on that issue, so he is barred ...


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