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United States v. Wood

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

November 2, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JERMAINE L. WOOD, Petitioner.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         Jermaine L. Wood, a federal inmate proceeding pro se9 submitted this successive motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence ("§ 2255 Motion," ECF No. 109).[1] The Government has filed its Response. (ECF No. 119.) Wood has filed his Reply. (ECF No. 122.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Wood's § 2255 Motion as barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h)(2).

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A. Criminal Proceedings

         A grand jury charged Wood with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (Count One), one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (Count Two), conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime as charged in Count One (Count Three), use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime as charged in Count One, resulting in murder in the second degree (Count Four). (Indictment 1-3, ECF No. 1.) On July 22, 1999, a jury found Wood guilty of Counts One, Three, and Four of the Indictment. (ECF No. 23.)

         The probation office prepared a Presentence Report ("PSR") for Wood prior to sentencing. Wood's base offense level for Count One was 43 because the victim was killed during the commission of the crime. (See PSR Wkst. A, at 1 (citing United States Sentencing Guidelines ("USSG") USSG § 2D1.1(d)(1) & § 2A1.1(a)). Wood's base offense level for Counts Three and Four was 33. (See PSR Wkst. A, at 2-3.) Due to grouping provisions, Wood's combined adjusted offense level, and ultimately offense level total, was 43. (See PSR Wkst. B, at 1.) Wood's criminal history category was IV, resulting in a sentencing guideline range of life in prison. (See PSR Wkst. D, at 1.) However, Count One carried a restricted statutory range of 480 months maximum and Count Three similarly carried a maximum of 240 months maximum. (Id.)

         On October 20, 1999, the Court sentenced Wood to 480 months of incarceration on Count One, 240 months of incarceration on Count Three, and life in prison on Count Four. (J. 2, ECF No. 33.) On August 14, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed Wood's conviction and sentence. United States v. Wood, No. 99-4822, 2000 WL 1144598, at *1 (4th Cir. Aug. 14, 2000).

         B. Collateral Proceedings

         On December 14, 2001, Wood filed his first motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 44 (see docket entry above dated Dec. 14, 2001).) By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on June 21, 2002, the Court denied Wood's § 2255 motion. See Wood v. United States, No. CRIM.A. 3:99-CR144, 2002 WL 32507838, at *1-6 (E.D. Va. June 21, 2002). Since that time, Wood has attempted continuously to attack his conviction and sentence and has filed at least three unauthorized second or successive § 2255 motions. (See ECF Nos. 54, 66, 71.)

         On July 25, 2016, the Fourth Circuit granted Wood authorization to file this successive § 2255 motion. (See ECF No. 105, at 1.) Attached to the Fourth Circuit's Order was a Proposed § 2255 Motion that the Court docketed. (ECF No. 107.) In response to the Court's July 28, 2016 Memorandum Order, on August 12, 2016, Wood filed the § 2255 Motion presently before the Court. (ECF No. 109.) Accordingly, by Memorandum Order entered on September 20, 2016, the Court directed that the United States Attorney be served with a copy of Wood's § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 111.)

         Subsequently, Wood has inundated the Court with various filings. Before the Government filed its response, Wood filed a Motion to Amend and yet another amended § 2255 motion. (ECF No. 114.) By Memorandum Order entered on November 22, 2016, the Court directed the Government to address the Motion to Amend in its response. (ECF No. 117.) The Government filed its Response on December 21, 2016. (ECF No. 119.) The Court received Wood's Reply on January 27, 2017. (ECF No. 122.) Since that date, Wood had filed multiple documents containing supplemental authority. (ECF Nos. 124, 126, 127.)

         By Memorandum Order entered on October 30, 2017, the Court directed the Government to file supplemental briefing about whether Wood has satisfied the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h)(2) for filing his successive § 2255 Motion. (ECF No. 131, at 2-3.) The Government filed its supplemental brief (ECF No. 136) and Wood filed a response (ECF No. 137). As discussed below, Wood's various claims are procedurally barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h)(2)'s prohibition of successive §2255 motions.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Wood's Claims

         In his § 2255 Motion, Wood raises entitlement to relief based upon the following ...


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