United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Charles J. Kovats, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, for
Manuel Cristerna Estrada, Reg. No. 15361-041 pro se
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF UNDER 28 U.S.C.
R. TUNHEIM Chief Judge United States District Court
February 15, 2011, Defendant Juan Manuel Cristerna Estrada
pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams
or more of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. (Plea Agreement
& Sentencing Stipulations at 1, Feb. 15, 2011, Docket No.
141; Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) at
1.) The Court entered judgment on October 11, 2011, imposing
a sentence of 105 months imprisonment followed by three years
of supervised release. (Sentencing J. at 2-3, Oct. 25, 2011,
Docket No. 168.) On June 20, 2016, Estrada filed a pro
se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 relying on Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). (Estrada's
Mot. to Vacate, June 20, 2016, Docket No. 201.) Because
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551, does not entitle Estrada to
any relief under § 2255, the Court will deny the motion.
2255(a) permits a prisoner to move the court that sentenced
him to “vacate, set aside or correct the
sentence” on the grounds 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.” Such relief “is reserved for
transgressions of constitutional rights and for a narrow
range of injuries that could not have been raised on direct
appeal and, if uncorrected, would result in a complete
miscarriage of justice.” Walking Eagle v. United
States, 742 F.3d 1079, 1081-82 (8th Cir.
2014) (quoting United States v. Apfel, 97 F.3d 1074,
1076 (8th Cir. 1996)).
argues that Johnson provides a basis for this Court
to correct his sentence. In Johnson, the Supreme
Court considered the “residual clause” of the
definition of “violent felony” within the Armed
Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. §
924. 135 S.Ct. at 2555. The residual clause provides that a
violent felony includes a crime that “otherwise
involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of
physical injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(2)(B)(ii). The Supreme Court found the residual clause
unconstitutionally vague and thus held an enhanced sentence
under the residual clause is unconstitutional.
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2557-58 (interpreting §
reliance on Johnson is misplaced, as the Court did
not impose an enhanced sentence under the ACCA's residual
clause. Indeed, Estrada did not have any previous
convictions to justify applying a sentencing enhancement
under the ACCA. (PSR at 7 (noting Estrada had zero criminal
history points).) Although Estrada appears to believe that
based on the PSR, he “received a two-level
increase” for possessing a firearm, (Estrada's Mot.
to Vacate at 5), the Court did not apply the
increase at Estrada's sentencing. Thus, as
Johnson does not apply to this case, the Court will
deny the § 2255 motion.
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
Court may grant a Certificate of Appealability only where the
movant “has made a substantial showing of the denial of
a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
The movant must show that “the issues are debatable
among reasonable jurists, a court could resolve the issues
differently, or the issues deserve further
proceedings.” Flieger v. Delo, 16 F.3d 878,
883 (8th Cir. 1994). For purposes of appeal under
§ 2253, the Court finds that Estrada has not shown that
reasonable jurists would find the issues raised in the §
2255 motion debatable, that some other court would resolve
the issues differently, or that the issues deserve further
proceedings. Therefore, the Court declines to grant a
Certificate of Appealability.
on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings
herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Estrada's Motion for to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § ...