United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE OR CORRECT
SENTENCE (DOC. NO. 1.)
C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
petitioner, Corey Maddox (“Maddox”), filed a
Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence (“Mot.
to Vacate”) (Doc. No. 1) pursuant to section 2255 of
title 28 of the United States Code. Maddox argues that the
Supreme Court case, Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015), makes his sentence unlawful. See
Mot. to Vacate at 1. The respondent, the United States
(“the Government”) opposes the Motion.
See United States' Response
(“Response”) (Doc. No. 7). Because Maddox was
released from incarceration on November 25, 2016,
see Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator,
question before the court is whether to resentence Maddox, so
as to reconsider his sentence to a five-year term of
supervised release, see Judgment (Doc. No. 1-1; Case
12-cr-104, Doc. No. 1732) at 1.
Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence (Doc. No. 1)
is denied both because Maddox waived his right to
collaterally attack his sentence and also, separately,
because there is no merit to Maddox's argument that his
sentence was improper.
jury indicted Maddox for one count of conspiracy to
distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, certain
controlled substances, in violation of sections 841(a)(1),
841(b)(1)(C), and 846 of title 21 of the United States Code.
See Superseding Indictment (Case 12-cr-104, Doc. No.
1073) ¶¶ 1-2, 8. Maddox pled guilty to the charge
against him. See Plea Agreement (Doc. No. 7-2; Case
12-cr-104, Doc. No. 1287) at 1. The Plea Agreement states the
Assuming a Criminal History Category V, an adjusted offense
level of 17 would result in an incarceration range of 46-57
months [under the United States Sentencing Guidelines].
The Government acknowledges that the defendant may qualify as
a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 based on his
prior felony convictions for Assault in the First Degree and
Conspiracy to Sell Narcotics. If the defendant qualifies as a
career offender, the defendant's adjusted offense level
would increase to 29, and his Guideline incarceration range,
based on a Criminal History Category VI, would increase to
151-188 months. Because this career offender range is higher
than the range that otherwise would be applicable, the career
offender range would be controlling. The defendant reserves
his right to contest the application of the career offender
enhancement. Based on the unique circumstances of this case,
the Government hereby agrees not to seek the application of
the career offender enhancement.
See Plea Agreement at 4. The Plea Agreement also
contained a section entitled “Waiver of Right to Appeal
or Collaterally Attack Sentence.” Id. at 5.
This section stated the following:
The defendant acknowledges that under certain circumstances
he is entitled to challenge his conviction and sentence. The
defendant agrees not to [ ] collaterally attack in any
proceeding, including but not limited to a motion under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 [ ], the conviction or sentence imposed by
the Court if that sentence does not exceed 55 months of
incarceration, a life term of supervised release, and a $1,
000, 000 fine. . . . The defendant acknowledges that he is
knowingly and intelligently waiving these rights.
Id. at 5.
United States Probation Officer prepared a Presentence Report
(Case 12-cr-104, Doc. No. 1663), stating that Maddox was
“a Career Offender” under section 4B1.1 of the
United States Sentencing Guidelines, and recommending both an
offense level enhancement and a criminal history category
increase under that section. Presentence Report ¶¶
27, 42. As a result, the Presentence Report stated that the
applicable Guidelines imprisonment range was 151 to 188
months. See id. ¶ 78.
sentencing hearing, the Government stated that it was
“not seeking the application of” the career
offender “enhancement.” Sentencing Tr. (Doc. No.
7-3; Case 12-cr-104, Doc. No. 2462) at 13. The Government
also urged that the court need not resolve the question of
whether Maddox was a career offender, as long as the court
would (1) “calculate both” the Guidelines range
that would apply if Maddox were a career offender and the
range that would apply if he were not, (2) “state on
the record that it feels a sentence of X number of months is
warranted in either scenario, ” (3) “and then say
that as a result, the Court doesn't need to resolve the
issue of the career offender enhancement.” Id.
at 14. The Government explained that the Guidelines
supervised release range would not be affected by the
application of the career offender enhancement. See
id. at 14. The court, Ellen Bree Burns, J., agreed that
the Guidelines imprisonment range was either 46 to 57 months,
if Maddox was not a career offender; or 151 to 188 months, if
Maddox was a career offender. See id. at 14-15.
court imposed a sentence of 55 months imprisonment, five
years of supervised release, and no fine. See
Judgment at 1-2. However, the court, in its Statement of
Reasons, “adopt[ed] the presentence investigation
report without change, ” finding a total offense level
of 29, a criminal history category of VI, and a Guidelines
imprisonment range of 151 to 188 months-all calculations
consistent with a determination that Maddox was a career
offender. Statement of Reasons at 1. The court thus indicated