United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Newport News Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Raymond A. Jackson, United States District Judge.
the Court is pro se litigant Antonio Renaldo
Wallace's ("Petitioner") Motion to Vacate, Set
Aside, or Correct a Sentence pursuant to Title 28, United
States Code, Section 2255 ("2255 Motion"). Having
reviewed the motion and filings, the Court finds that a
hearing is not necessary to address Petitioner's motion.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). For the reasons set
forth below, Petitioner's 2255 Motion is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
was first named in an indictment on March 15, 2017. ECF No.
1. On April 12, 2017, Petitioner was named in a six-count
superseding Indictment charging him with Conspiracy to
Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841, 846 (Count 1); Possession with
Intent to Distribute Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841 (Count 5); and Felon in Possession of Firearm and
Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) (Count 6).
ECF No. 37. The Indictment alleged that between June 2016 and
March 2017, Petitioner was part of a drug distribution ring
responsible for more than 500 grams of cocaine. Id.
Additionally, the Indictment alleged that on January 31,
2017, Petitioner possessed and intended to distribute more
than 500 grams of cocaine, and possessed a firearm after
being convicted of a felony. Id. On January 13,
2018, Petitioner pled to Count 1 of the superseding
Indictment. ECF Nos. 104-107. On May 8, 2018, this Court
accepted Petitioner's guilty plea and sentenced him to a
term of 162 months of imprisonment. ECF No. 143.
February 1, 2019, Petitioner submitted his initial 2255
Motion, which was defective. ECF No. 145. On February 21,
2019, this Court issued an order granting Petitioner 30 days
to submit a properly filed 2255 Motion. ECF No. 148. On April
12, 2019 and May 7, 2019, Petitioner wrote the Court to
detail his difficulties with filing his 2255 Motion. ECF Nos.
149, 150. On May 20, 2019, Petitioner submitted another
defective 2255 Motion. ECF No. 151. On May 23, 2019, this
Court issued an order allowing Petitioner 30 more days to
resubmit his 2255 Motion. ECF No. 152. On June 10, 2019,
Petitioner submitted the instant 2255 Motion. ECF No. 155. On
August 8, 2019, the Government submitted a response in
opposition to Petitioner's 2255 Motion. ECF No. 159. On
September 3, 2019, Petitioner submitted a reply to the
Government's response. ECF No. 160.
2255 allows a federal prisoner "claiming the right to be
released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States .
.. [to] move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate,
set aside or correct the sentence." 28 U.S.C. §
2255. In a § 2255 motion, the petitioner bears the
burden of proving his or her claim by a preponderance of the
evidence. See Miller v. United States, 261 F.2d 546,
547 (4th Cir. 1958). Additionally, pro se filers are
entitled to more liberal construction of their pleadings.
Erickson v. Pardits, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
deciding a § 2255 motion, the Court must promptly grant
a hearing "unless the motion and the files and records
of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled
to no relief." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). Motions under
§ 2255 generally "will not be allowed to do service
for an appeal." Sunal v. Large, 332 U.S. 174,
178-79 (1947). For this reason, issues already fully
litigated on direct appeal may not be raised again under the
guise of a collateral attack. United Slates v.
Dyess, 730 F.3d 354, 360 (4th Cir. 2013). Issues that
should have been raised on direct appeal are deemed waived,
procedurally defaulted, and cannot be raised on a 2255
Motion. United States v. Mikalajunas, 186 F.3d 490,
492 (4th Cir. 1999). However, an individual may raise a
procedurally defaulted claim if he/she can show (1)
"cause and actual prejudice resulting from the errors of
which he complains" or (2) that "a miscarriage of
justice would result from the refusal of the court to
entertain the collateral attack. . . . [meaning] the movant
must show actual innocence by clear and convincing
evidence." Id. at 492-93. To demonstrate cause
and prejudice, a petitioner must show the errors "worked
to [their] actual and substantial disadvantage, infecting
[their] entire trial with error of constitutional
dimensions." United States v. Frady, 456 U.S.
152, 170 (1982).
The Commerce Power and 21 U.S.C. § 841
has the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate purely
local activities that are part of an economic class of
activities that have a substantial effect on interstate
commerce. Wickardv. Filburn, 317 U.S. Ill. 128-29.
Congress may regulate local activities if it concludes that
failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the
regulation of the interstate market in that commodity.
Gonzalez v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 18 (2005). Further,
the Supreme Court's rulings in United States v.
Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995) and United States v.
Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000) regarding noneconomic
activities beyond the scope of the Commerce Power do not
limit congressional authority to regulate local drug
manufacturing, possession, and distribution. Id. In
sum, congressional regulation of local economic activities
through the Controlled Substances Act and 21 U.S.C. §
841 are a valid exercise of the Commerce Power. Id.
Grand Jury Errors
Rule of Criminal Procedure 12 provides that an error in the
grand jury proceeding must be raised by pretrial motion if
the basis for the motion is then reasonably available and the
motion can be determined without a trial on the merits. Fed.
R. Crim. P. 12(b)(3)(A).