United States District Court, E.D. Virginia
ROBERT E. PAYNE, Senior District Judge.
Kenneth Bronson Hughes, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, submitted a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition ("§ 2241 Petition"). In his § 2241 Petition, Hughes contends that his sentence is unconstitutional in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Alleyne v. United States , 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013). For reasons set forth below, the § 2241 Petition will be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
I. Motions Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 Compared To Petitions Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
A motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 provides the primary means of collateral attack on the imposition of a federal conviction and sentence and must be filed with the sentencing court. See Pack v. Yusuff , 218 F.3d 448, 451 (5th Cir. 2000) (quoting Cox v. Warden, Fed. Pet. Ctr. , 911 F.2d 1111, 1113 (5th Cir. 1990)). A federal inmate may not proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 unless he or she demonstrates that the remedy afforded by 28 U.S.C. § 2255 "is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). For example, "attacks on the execution of a sentence are properly raised in a § 2241 petition." In re Vial , 115 F.3d 1192, 1194 n.5 (4th Cir. 1997) (citing Bradshaw v. Story , 86 F.3d 164, 166 (10th Cir. 1996); Hanahan v. Luther , 693 F.2d 629, 632 n.l (7th Cir. 1982)). Nevertheless, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has emphasized that "the remedy afforded by § 2255 is not rendered inadequate or ineffective merely because an individual has been unable to obtain relief under that provision or because an individual is procedurally barred from filing a § 2255 motion." Id . (citations omitted).
The Fourth Circuit has stressed that an inmate may proceed under § 2241 to challenge his conviction "in only very limited circumstances." United States v. Poole , 531 F.3d 263, 269 (4th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted). The "controlling test, " id., in the Fourth Circuit is as follows:
[Section] 2255 is inadequate and ineffective to test the legality of a conviction when: (1) at the time of conviction, settled law of this circuit or the Supreme Court established the legality of the conviction; (2) subsequent to the prisoner's direct appeal and first § 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is deemed not to be criminal; and (3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the gatekeeping provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is not one of constitutional law.
In re Jones , 226 F.3d 328, 333-34 (4th Cir. 2000) (emphasis added). The Fourth Circuit formulated this test to provide a remedy for the "fundamental defect presented by a situation in which an individual is incarcerated for conduct that is not criminal but, through no fault of his [or her] own, [he or she] has no source of redress." Id. at 333 n.3 (emphasis added).
II. Analysis Of Hughes's 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition
Hughes fails to satisfy the second prong of In re Jones. See In re Jones , 226 F.3d 328, 334 (4th Cir. 2000). Specifically, Hughes fails to demonstrate that "subsequent to [his] direct appeal and [his] first § 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the conduct of which [he] was convicted is deemed not to be criminal." Id . (emphasis added). The conduct of which Hughes stands convicted, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base, remains a crime. See Mabry v. Wilson, No. ___ F.App'x ___, 14-6430, 2014 WL 3766729, at *1 (4th Cir. Aug. 1, 2014) (concluding the decision in Alleyne fails to provide basis for seeking relief under § 2241); Alsop v. Chandler, 551 F.App'x 217, 218 (5th Cir. -) (concluding the decision in Alleyne fails to provide a basis for filing § 2241 petition challenging convictions for distribution of cocaine base and conspiracy to distribute cocaine base). Moreover, "Fourth Circuit precedent has... not extended ...