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United States v. Brunson

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

February 14, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
BOBBY DWAYNE BRUNSON

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge.

         Bobby Dwayne Brunson, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, brings this motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("§ 2255 Motion, " ECF No. 45). The Government has responded, asserting, inter alia, that Brunson's § 2255 Motion is untimely filed. (ECF No. 47.) For the reasons set forth below, the § 2255 Motion will be dismissed as barred by the statute of limitations.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On July 16, 2012, a grand jury returned a one-count Indictment against Brunson, charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Indictment 1, ECF No. 1.) On October 19, 2012, Brunson pled guilty to the one count alleged in the Indictment. (Plea Agreement ¶ 1, ECF No. 17.)

         Prior to sentencing, a Probation Officer determined that Brunson "qualif[ied] for the Armed Career Criminal enhancement, pursuant to [United States Sentencing Guideline] § 4B1.4(a) as a result of his three prior serious drug offenses committed on occasions different from one another." (Pre-Sentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 30, ECF No. 26.) Specifically, Brunson had previously been convicted of Distribution of Cocaine as well as two separate charges of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. (Id.) On March 12, 2013, the Court entered judgment against Brunson and sentenced him to 180 months of imprisonment. (J. 2, ECF No. 43.) Brunson did not appeal.

         On or about January 15, 2016, Brunson placed the present § 2255 Motion in the prison mail system for mailing to this Court. (§ 2255 Mot. 2.) The Court deems the § 2255 Motion filed as of that date. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 276 (1988) . In his § 2255 Motion, Brunson contends that he is entitled to relief pursuant to United States v. Vann, 660 F.3d 771 (4th Cir. 2011), because his November 16, 2007 Alford[1] plea to the charge of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute no longer qualifies as a predicate offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act (WACCA"). (§ 2255 Mot. 2.) Brunson also vaguely asserts that he is entitled to relief under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). (Id.)

         II. ANALYSIS

         Section 101 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") amended 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to establish a one-year period of limitation for the filing of a § 2255 Motion. Specifically, 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f) now reads:

(f) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section. The limitation period shall run from the latest of-
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which 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 date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the ...

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