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. Sadm

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division

September 16, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RONALD JUNIOR SADM, Petitioner.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Michael F. Urbanski United States District Judge

         Ronald Junior Sadm, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[1] The government has filed a motion to dismiss, and Sadm has responded, making this matter ripe for consideration. After reviewing the record, the court concludes that the government's motion to dismiss must be granted and Sadm's § 2255 motion must be dismissed as untimely.

         I.

         On August 21, 2008, a federal grand jury charged Sadm in a three-count indictment with: (1) conspiring to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectible amount of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 ("Count One"); (2) being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e) ("Count Two"); and carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) ("Count Three"). The indictment stemmed from a search of Sadm's house by law enforcement following an investigation into crack cocaine and marijuana distribution in western Virginia.

         On October 30, 2008, Sadm pleaded guilty to Counts Two and Three pursuant to a written plea agreement. The Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") recommended a total offense level of 30 because Sadm qualified as an armed career criminal under The Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and 924(e). PSR ¶ 20, ECF No. 47. Without the armed career criminal designation, Sadm's total offense level would have been 23, which included a two-level enhancement for possession of firearms. Id. ¶¶ 12, 17. The PSR listed the following prior felony convictions to support the armed career criminal enhancement: (1) a 1983 Massachusetts robbery conviction; (2) a 1988 Massachusetts conviction for possession with intent to distribute and for illegal possession of a controlled substance; and (3) a 1989 Massachusetts conviction for possession with intent to distribute and for conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws. The PSR recommended a criminal history category of IV, resulting in a guideline imprisonment range of 135 to 168 months, Id. ¶ 114. However, the crimes to which Sadm pleaded guilty both had mandatory minimum sentences. Count Two had a mandatory statutory sentence of fifteen years to life imprisonment, and Count Three had a mandatory statutory sentence of seven years to life imprisonment, to be served consecutively. Accordingly, the PSR recommended an advisory guidelines sentence of fifteen years on Count Two and seven years on Count Three to be served consecutively. See U.S.S.G. 5G1.1(b) ("Where a statutorily required minimum sentence is greater than the maximum of the applicable guideline range, the statutorily required minimum sentence shall be the guideline sentence").

         The court followed the PSR recommendation and sentenced Sadm to a total of 22 years' incarceration.[2] Sadm did not appeal. Sadm filed this § 2255 motion alleging two claims: (1) that the district court imposed an unconstitutional sentence in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 2563 (2015); and (2) that counsel was ineffective for failing to recognize that some of his prior convictions listed in the PSR were not actual convictions.

         The court appointed the Federal Public Defender's Office to represent Sadm and provide supplemental briefing, if necessary, in light of Johnson, pursuant to Standing Order 2015-5. Subsequently, the Federal Public Defender's Office declined to file additional pleadings, concluding that it had "nothing to add to the Motion." Notice of No Additional Filing at 1, ECF No. 38.

         II.

         To state a viable claim for relief under § 2255, a petitioner must prove: (1) that his sentence was "imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States;" (2) that "the court was without jurisdiction to impose such a sentence;" or (3) that "the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Sadm bears the burden of proving grounds for a collateral attack by a preponderance of the evidence. Jacobs v. United States, 350 F.2d 571, 574 (4th Cir. 1965).

         A. Timeliness of Petition

         A petition under § 2255 must adhere to strict statute of limitations requirements. A person convicted of a federal offense must file a § 2255 motion within one year of the latest date on which:

(1) the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively ...

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.