United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Big Stone Gap Division
Zachary T. Lee, Assistant United States Attorney, Abingdon,
Virginia, for United States; Steven Riggs, Defendant Pro
P. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
defendant, Steven Riggs, proceeding pro se, has filed a
motion seeking relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The United
States has filed a motion to dismiss, to which the movant has
responded. For the reasons stated, I will grant the motion to
dismiss and dismiss the § 2255 motion.
3, 2010, Riggs pleaded guilty without a plea agreement to one
count of conspiring to distribute oxycodone, in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C) and 846. Riggs
admitted to repeatedly driving from Virginia to Florida with
other individuals to illegally obtain oxycodone and then
bringing the oxycodone back to southwest Virginia, where much
of it was distributed.
to his sentencing, Riggs lodged numerous objections to the
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”).
Pertinent to the instant § 2255 motion, he argued that
the offenses described in paragraphs 112 and 113 of the PSR
were “relevant conduct” and that he should not
have received criminal history points for those offenses.
Paragraph 112 listed a conviction for two counts of forging a
public record in Wise County, Virginia on August 1, 2008.
Paragraph 113 listed several charges for conduct occurring in
Scott County, Virginia, on January 7, 2009. The offenses of
which Riggs was convicted included driving on a revoked
license, speeding, forging a public document, identity theft,
and obstruction of justice. Riggs had been stopped for
speeding and had shown the police officer a Tennessee
driver's license identifying himself as William J.
Altizer. He had also signed the summons with that name.
sentencing hearing was held on June 21, 2011, during which
Riggs testified at length. Riggs was represented by retained
counsel at sentencing. Regarding paragraphs 112 and 113 of
the PSR, Riggs testified as follows:
Q There are some charges on your PSR where you had given
false identities. What was the purpose of giving false
A Well, . . . I've had a lot of speeding tickets, and my
license was suspended at the time, and being that I usually
had drugs in my possession there were a couple of cases that
I had someone else's ID in my possession in case I did
get pulled over.
Q You wanted to avoid detection?
A Well, I mean, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the
world to be pulled over for speeding and not have a license,
which I did do that. I would use the alternate identities in
case I did get pulled over. I didn't want the police
searching my car and finding a bunch of drugs in my
Sentencing Hr'g Tr. 147, ECF No. 400.
Sentencing Memorandum, Riggs asserted,
In order to avoid detection for possessing Oxycontin, Riggs
gave fraudulent information and false identification as a
perceived lesser charge as opposed to being arrested and
searched and found to be in possession of these drugs he
would have been charged with possession of oxycontin or
possession with the intent to distribute oxycontin.
Mem. 37, ECF No. 406. “Riggs contends that these events
occurred to avoid detection, and thus are appropriately