United States District Court, D. Maryland
ERIC MAURICE HOLBROOK, JR. Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Civ. Action No. ELH-16-2282
L. Hollander, United States District Judge.
September 6, 2013, Eric M. Holbrook, Jr., Petitioner, entered
a plea of guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with
intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, a lesser
included offense of Count One of the Indictment. ECF 167; ECF
170. In particular, the Plea Agreement stated, ECF 170 ¶
7: “The government believes that the Defendant is a
career offender.” See U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1.
was held on November 27, 2013. ECF 183; ECF 185
(Judgment). Of relevance here, the Presentence Report
(“PSR, ” ECF 178) indicated that Petitioner
qualified as a Career Offender. Id. ¶ 23;
see also Id. ¶¶ 30, 32, 34, 36.
Holbrook's prior convictions in Maryland included several
second-degree assault convictions, a conviction for resisting
arrest, and a felony drug distribution offense. Id.
He had 12 criminal history points, which yielded a criminal
history category of V. As a Career Offender, however, his
Criminal History Category was increased to VI. ECF 178,
¶¶ 38, 39. Moreover, the Career Offender
designation resulted in a two-level increase in
Holbrook's final adjusted offense level, from 29 to 31.
Id. ¶¶ 22, 25.
sentencing, the Court agreed with the PSR and determined that
Holbrook qualified as a Career Offender under U.S.S.G. §
4B1.1. The Court found the defendant's Offense Level was
31 and his Criminal History Category was VI, with an advisory
sentencing guideline range of 188 to 235 months'
imprisonment. ECF 186 at 1. If the defendant were not a
career offender, his offense level would have been a 29 with
a criminal history category of V. And, the guidelines range
would have been 140 to 175 months. The Court imposed a
sentence of 108 months of incarceration. ECF 185.
6, 2016, the Federal Public Defender (“FPD”)
filed a Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 (ECF 211, “Motion”), based on Johnson v.
United States, ___U.S.___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In
Johnson, the Supreme Court struck down the residual
clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(2)(B)(ii), ruling that the definition of a
“violent felony” was unconstitutionally vague.
135 S.Ct. at 2555-57; see also United States v.
Winston, 850 F.3d 667, 680 (4th Cir. 2017) (explaining
Johnson). Relying on Johnson, Holbrook
argued that Petitioner no longer qualified as a Career
Offender because the prior offense of resisting arrest does
not constitute a crime of violence. ECF 211 at 1.
March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Beckles v.
United States, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017). In
Beckles, the Court determined that the advisory
sentencing guidelines are not subject to Johnson
challenges. Subsequent to that decision, on August 25, 2017,
the FPD wrote to Petitioner, asking whether he wanted to
voluntarily withdraw his motion. ECF 212 1-3. Petitioner was
also advised that the FPD intended to submit a request to
withdraw as counsel and, if granted, Petitioner would be
proceeding without counsel. Id. at 2. Petitioner did
not respond to the FPD. Id.
September 20, 2017, the FPD filed a Motion to Withdraw as
Counsel. ECF 212. This Court granted that Motion. ECF 213.
before this Court is Petitioner's Motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF 211. The government did not respond. No
hearing is necessary to resolve the motion. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016); 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). For
the reasons stated herein, I shall deny the motion.
claims that under Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551, he does
not qualify as a Career Offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1,
because one of his prior qualifying convictions is not a
crime of violence.
§ 4B1.1(a) provides:
A defendant is a career offender if (1) the defendant was at
least eighteen years old at the time the defendant committed
the instant offense of conviction; (2) the instant offense of
conviction is a felony that is either a crime of violence or
a controlled substance offense; and (3) the defendant has at
least two prior felony convictions of either a crime of
violence or a controlled substance offense.
Section 4B1.2(a) states, in part:
(a) The term “crime of violence” means any
offense under federal or state law, punishable by
imprisonment for a ...