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Richardson v. United States

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

July 11, 2019

NATHANIEL A. RICHARDSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Raymond A. Jackson United States District Judge.

         Before the Court are Petitioner Nathaniel A. Richardson, Jr.'s ("Petitioner”) two motions. On January 17, 2019, Petitioner first filed a pro se motion pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 3582(c)(2) to reduce his sentence pursuant to Sentencing Amendments 591, 782, and 790. ECF No. 417. The same day, Petitioner also filed a pro se motion to reduce his sentence based on the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act ("FIRST STEP Act") regarding cocaine base offenses. ECF No. 418; see Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018). For the reasons set forth below, both motions are DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On July 25, 1996, Petitioner was indicted as part of a multi-defendant indictment on several charges related to a drug conspiracy, including:

• Count 1: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of heroin (21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), 846)
• Count 2: Engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise (21 U.S.C. § 848)
• Count 3: Distribution and possession with intent to distribute of 50 grams or more of cocaine base (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A))
• Count 10: Use and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1))
• Count 15: Money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)
• Count 16: Money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)

ECF No. 1. Petitioner was tried, and on October 28, 1996, he was found guilty on Counts 1, 2, 3, 15, and 16 and not guilty on Count 10. ECF No. 122. On February 3, 1997, Petitioner was sentenced. ECF No. 144. At sentencing, the Court vacated Count 1 as a lesser offense included in Count 2. Id. Petitioner's mandatory guideline range was Life imprisonment. ECF No. 399 at ¶ 150. The Court therefore sentenced him to Life imprisonment on Counts 2 and 3, and 240 months imprisonment on Counts 15 and 16 each, all to be served concurrently. ECF No. 144. Petitioner appealed his sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ("Fourth Circuit"), which was affirmed on August 20, 1998. United States v. Richardson, 162 F.3d 1158 (4th Cir. 1998) (table decision). On June 7, 1999, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated the Fourth Circuit's decision in light of Richardson v. United States, 526 U.S. 813 (1999). Richardson v. United States, 526 U.S. 1155 (1999). On November 22, 2000, the Fourth Circuit again affirmed Petitioner's conviction. United States v. Richardson, 233 F.3d 233 (4th Cir. 2000).

         Since then, Petitioner has filed a multitude of motions for postconviction relief, all of which have been denied. See ECF Nos. 267 (denying Petitioner's motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255); 281 (denying Petitioner's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e)); 308 (denying Petitioner's motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2244); 310 (denying Petitioner's motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)); 324 (denying Petitioner's motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)); 343 (denying Petitioner's motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255); 393 (denying Petitioner's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6)); 415 (denying Petitioner's petition for writ of audita querela).

         On January 17, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant two motions. ECF Nos. 717-18. On January 22, 2019, the Court appointed counsel for Petitioner and asked the Government and Petitioner's counsel for briefing on these motions. ECF No. 419. On April 5, 2019, Petitioner's counsel filed his response. ECF No. 429. On April 19, 2019, the Government filed its response in opposition. ECF No. 431. On May 20, 2019, Petitioner's counsel filed a reply. ECF No. 433.

         II. ...


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