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United States v. Gleaton

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

March 18, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JEROME DANEK GLEATON, Petitioner.

MEMORANDUM OPINION (DENYING 28 U.S.C. § 2255 MOTION)

HENRY E. HUDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Jerome Danek Gleaton, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, submitted this motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Motion, " ECF No. 33).[1]Gleaton contends that the Court committed errors in conjunction with his sentencing. Specifically, Gleaton demands relief because:

Claim One: "Petitioner's sentence based on more than a detectable amount was in error." (Id. at 4.)
Claim Two: "Defendant should not have been sentenced to more than what was defined in the Plea Agreement." (Id. at 5.)
Claim Three: "The Apprendi and Alleyne cases of the Supreme Court provide for relief where errors have occurred." (Id. at 6.)

Gleaton has also filed a brief raising additional claims, which the Court will construe as a motion to amend ("First Motion to Amend, " ECF No. 35) and will consider below. The Government has responded, asserting that the three claims Gleaton has raised in his § 2255 Motion are procedurally defaulted and lack merit. (ECF No. 39.) Gleaton has filed a Traverse. (ECF No. 42.) Gleaton has also filed a motion to amend/supplement his § 2255 motion ("Second Motion to Amend, " ECF No. 43), which the Court will also consider below. For the reasons set forth below, Gleaton's § 2255 Motion (ECF No. 33), and his motions to amend (ECF Nos. 35, 43), will be denied.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 2, 2012, a Criminal Complaint was filed, charging Gleaton with attempt to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of heroin. (Crim. Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1.) Subsequently, on April 16, 2012, a grand jury returned an Indictment, charging Gleaton with attempt to possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams of more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of heroin. (Indictment 1, ECF No. 8.) On July 24, 2012, the Government filed a Criminal Information, charging Gleaton with attempt to possess with intent to distribute a mixture containing a detectable amount of heroin. (Crim. Information 1, ECF No. 18.) That same day, Gleaton signed a Plea Agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to the charge contained in the Criminal Information. (Plea Agreement ¶1, ECF No. 21.) During the Rule 11 colloquy, Gleaton agreed that he understood that the maximum penalty that could be imposed was twenty years of imprisonment. (July 24, 2012 Tr. 14.)

On October 17, 2012, the parties appeared before the Court for Gleaton's sentencing. The Court concluded that Gleaton qualified as a career offender under the Sentencing Guidelines. (Oct. 17, 2012 Tr. 3.) That same day, the Court entered judgment against Gleaton and sentenced him to 160 months of imprisonment. (J. 2, ECF No. 30.) Gleaton did not appeal.

II. CLAIMS RAISED IN § 2255 MOTION

A. Sentencing Error Claims

In Claim One, Gleaton contends that his "sentence based on more than a detectable amount was in error." (§ 2255 Mot. 4.) Specifically, Gleaton argues that he "pled to no amount in the plea, and was sentenced for a detectable amount, but enhanced for 100 grams of what he attempted to purchase." (Id.) In Claim Two, Gleaton alleges that he "should not have been sentenced to more than what was defined in the plea agreement." (Id. at 5.) Because these claims are essentially identical, the Court will consider them together.

The procedural default rule bars these claims from review here, absent a showing of cause and prejudice or actual innocence, because Gleaton could have raised, but did not raise, these claims on direct appeal. See Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 622-23 (1998); see also United States v. Under, 552 F.3d 391, 397 (4th Cir. 2009) (explaining that a petitioner who waives the right to appeal "is not precluded from filing a petition for collateral review. But he is precluded from raising claims that are the sort that could have been raised on appeal."). Gleaton has provided the Court with no argument to support a showing of cause and prejudice or actual innocence. Accordingly, Claims One and Two will be dismissed.

B. Apprendi and Alleyne Claim

In Claim Three, Gleaton contends that the Supreme Court's decisions in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), and Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), "provide for relief where errors have occurred." (§ 2255 Mot. 6.) Specifically, Gleaton argues that these decisions have "taken the court's authority back to the Apprendi era and limited ...


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