Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Doss

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY PIERRE DOSS, Defendant.

          Thomas Calhoun-Lopez, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for plaintiff.

          Anthony Pierre Doss, pro se.

          ORDER

          Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on defendant Anthony Pierre Doss's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 541. Doss argues that his counsel was ineffective in advising him to plead guilty to conspiring to possess a firearm in connection with a drug conspiracy that was neither a “controlled substance offense” nor a “drug trafficking crime.” See ECF No. 553 at 2-3. Doss also argues that his prior conviction for first-degree aggravated robbery is not a “crime of violence” for purposes of the United States Sentencing Guidelines in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). See ECF No. 553 at 4-8. The Court disagrees on both counts and therefore denies Doss's § 2255 motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Doss pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. § 924(o) by conspiring to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. ECF No. 343 ¶ 1. The underlying drug-trafficking crime that was identified in the indictment and the plea agreement was conspiring to distribute cocaine base and heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. See ECF No. 41 at 3-6; ECF No. 343 ¶ 2.

         At Doss's sentencing, Doss did not dispute that his prior conviction for first- degree aggravated robbery was a “crime of violence” for Guidelines purposes, and he agreed that his base offense level was therefore 22 under § 2K2.1(a)(3) of the Guidelines. See ECF No. 343 ¶ 5(a); ECF No. 433 at 5. The Court concluded that Doss's total offense level was 30, that his criminal-history category was IV, and that his recommended sentence was 135 to 168 months. See ECF No. 463 at 1; ECF No. 549 at 15. The Court then varied downward and sentenced Doss to 105 months in prison. ECF No. 462 at 2. Doss did not appeal.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Doss's § 2255 motion cites two[1] reasons why his sentence should be vacated. The Court will address each claim in turn.

         A. Drug-Trafficking Crime

         Doss first argues that his counsel was ineffective because his counsel advised him to plead guilty to conspiring to possess a firearm in connection with a conspiracy that was neither a “drug trafficking crime” nor a “controlled substance offense.” Doss is mistaken.

         To start with, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(o) does not require the defendant to conspire to possess a firearm in connection with a “controlled substance offense.” Rather, § 924(o) makes it unlawful for a person to conspire to commit an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Section 924(c), in turn, makes it unlawful for a person to possess a firearm in furtherance of “any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime.” The statute does not use the term “controlled substance offense.”

         The statute explicitly defines “drug trafficking crime” to mean “any felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(2). Doss was charged with-and admitted to-possessing a firearm in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Section 846 is part of the Controlled Substances Act. See United States v. Bell, 90 F.3d 318, 321 (8th Cir. 1996) (referring to the Controlled Substances Act as sections 801 to 971 of title 21 of the United States Code). Therefore, a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and heroin in violation of § 846 is a “felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act.” See United States v. Rolon-Ramos, 502 F.3d 750, 757 (8th Cir. 2007).

         Doss argues, however, that he “cannot be convicted under Sec.924(o) based on a non-overt act drug ‘conspiracy' under 21 USC 846.” ECF No. 553 at 3. But the case on which he primarily relies[2]-United States v. Martinez-Cruz, 836 F.3d 1305 (10th Cir. 2016)-does not support his argument. The defendant in Martinez-Cruz was subject to an enhancement under the 2014 version of § 2L1.2(b)(1)(B) of the Guidelines if he had a prior conviction for “a felony drug trafficking offense.” Application Note 5 to § 2L1.2 provided that a conviction for “conspiring” to commit a felony drug trafficking offense counted as a “felony drug trafficking offense.” The question was whether the defendant's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.