United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Gregory G. Brooker and Bradley M. Endicott, United States
Attorney's Office, for Plaintiff.
Alan James, FCI Pekin, P.O. pro se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD NELSON United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant-Petitioner Joseph A.
James' Pro Se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence [Doc. No. 35] and his
Pro Se Motion for Clarification [Doc. No. 38]. For the
reasons set forth below, Defendant-Petitioner's §
2255 motion is denied and his Motion for Clarification is
denied as moot.
September 18, 2015, the Government charged James by
Information with one count of being a felon in possession of
a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1)
and 924(a)(2). (Information at 1 [Doc. No. 8].) James was
represented by United States Federal Defender Reynaldo
Aligada throughout the underlying proceedings. On October 1,
2015, James entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea
agreement with the Government. (Minute Entry of 10/1/15 [Doc.
No. 12].) In the Plea Agreement, he agreed that if the matter
went to trial, the Government would prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that he was a previously convicted felon from whom law
enforcement officers seized seven firearms on or about July
7, 2015. (Plea Agmt. ¶¶ 1-2 [Doc. No. 14].)
Additionally, James agreed that the Government would prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that he shot an outdoor automated
teller machine (ATM) with one of the firearms on or about
July 6, 2015. (Id.) At the hearing in which his
guilty plea was entered, James also admitted to shooting the
Plea Agreement, the Government and Defendant-Petitioner
acknowledged that, in calculating the level for specific
offense characteristics for sentencing, the Court would
consider a four-level increase pursuant to Section
2K2.1(b)(6)(B) of the 2015 U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
(Id. ¶ 6(b)). This offense-level increase was
based on Defendant-Petitioner's possession of one or more
firearms in connection with another felony offense,
(id.), namely, the shooting of the ATM. The
Government and Defendant-Petitioner agreed that the
applicable advisory sentencing range for the
felon-in-possession charge, under the Sentencing Guidelines,
was 78-97 months. (Gov't's Sentencing Position at 3
[Doc. No. 25]; Def.'s Sentencing Position at 1 [Doc. No.
24].) The offense carries a statutory maximum of term of
imprisonment of 10 years. 18 U.S.C. § 22(g)(1); 18
March 25, 2016 sentencing hearing, James requested a 60-month
sentence (see Def.'s Sentencing Position at 1),
while the Government requested a 97-month sentence. (See
Gov't's Sentencing Position at 1.) Ultimately, this
Court sentenced James to a prison term of 78 months.
(Judgment at 2 [Doc. No. 30].) He did not directly appeal his
now brings this timely motion to correct his sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting that: (1) the
four-level sentencing enhancement under Section
2K2.1(b)(6)(B) is facially unconstitutional and was
unconstitutionally applied to him, in violation of his due
process rights under the Fifth Amendment and speedy trial
rights under the Sixth Amendment, (Def.'s Mot. at 2-3);
and (2) his counsel's failure to challenge this
enhancement constituted ineffective assistance of counsel, in
violation of the Sixth Amendment. (Id. at 4-5.) In
addition, James seeks relief on a procedural basis. (Mot. for
Clarification at 1; Def.'s Reply at 1 [Doc. No. 41].)
Standard for Relief
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a),
[a] prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established
by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was with without jurisdiction to impose such a sentence, or
that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by
law, or is otherwise subject to collateral ...