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United States v. Garcia

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 13, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
Robert Garcia, Defendant/Petitioner.

          Nathan H. Nelson, Assistant United States Attorney, Counsel for Respondent.

          Petitioner, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Michael J. Davis United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court upon Petitioner's motion under Rule 60 (b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure[1]. [Doc. No. 257]

         I. Background

         On February 18, 2011, Petitioner was found guilty by a jury of Count 1 of the Indictment which charged Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, Methamphetamine and Oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and 846 and Count 3 which charged Possession with Intent to Distribute Approximately 320 Grams Methamphetamine (Actual) in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2.

         On December 13, 2011, Petitioner was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 240 months on each count, to be served concurrently, followed by five years of supervised release. On appeal, Petitioner did not challenge his conviction, but he did challenge the Court's application of two sentencing enhancements under the sentencing guidelines. The Eighth Circuit rejected Petitioner's arguments on appeal and affirmed his sentence. United States v. Garcia, 703 F.3d 471 (8th Cir. 2013) pet. cert. denied Garcia v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 1048 (2014).

         In response to the November 2014 amendments to the drug quantity table in the sentencing guidelines, which reflected a two-level reduction in the base offense level for each drug within the table, Petitioner filed a motion for a sentence reduction. By Order dated December 13, 2016, the motion was denied because Petitioner's guideline range remained the same even after applying the lower base offense level.[2] On appeal, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the order denying his motion for resentencing. (Doc. No. 250 (Order dated January 17, 2017).)

         Petitioner then filed an application with the Eighth Circuit for authorization to file a second or successive 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion. The application was denied because Petitioner had not filed a previous motion under § 2255 before this Court. (Doc. No. 254 (Order dated August 14, 2018).) The Eighth Circuit transferred Petitioner's application to this Court for consideration as an initial § 2255 motion. (Id.) Thereafter, Petitioner filed the instant motion under Rule 60(b)(6).

         II. Standard of Review

         Petitioner moves the Court to vacate his sentence and dismiss the Indictment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6). Because Petitioner is seeking substantive relief from his conviction and sentence, the Court will construe the motion as a collateral attack brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Hill v. Morrison, 349 F.3d 1089, 1091 (8th Cir. 2003) (“It is well settled a collateral challenge to a federal conviction or sentence must generally be raised in a motion to vacate filed in the sentencing court under § 2255 . . .”).

         Under Section 2255, “[a] prisoner in custody under sentence . . . 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 without jurisdiction to impose such sentence . . . or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Section 2255 is intended to provide federal prisoners a remedy for jurisdictional or constitutional errors. Sun Bear v. United States, 644 F.3d 700, 704 (8th Cir. 2011). It is not intended to be a substitute for appeal or to relitigate matters decided on appeal. See Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 621 (1998); Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 346-47 (1974)).

Relief under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2255 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. A movant may not raise constitutional issues for the first time on collateral review without ...

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