United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
November 26, 2012, Anthony Griffin, Petitioner, entered a
plea of guilty to the sole count of an Indictment charging
him with Interference with Commerce by Robbery (Hobbs Act
Robbery), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a). ECF 29;
ECF 30 (Plea Agreement). In particular, the plea was entered
under Rule 11(c)(1)(C), in which the parties jointly agreed
to a sentence ranging between 120 to 151 months of
imprisonment, if the defendant qualified as a Career
Offender. ECF 30, ¶ 8. The parties also agreed that if
the defendant did not qualify as a Career Offender, then a
sentence within the advisory guidelines range, as determined
by the Court, would be the appropriate disposition. Id.
See U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1.
Presentence Report (“PSR”, ECF 35) indicated that
Griffin qualified as a Career Offender. That determination
was based on a criminal history that included prior
convictions in Maryland for Assault with Intent to Rob (1995)
and Robbery with a Deadly Weapon (two counts) in 1997.
Id. ¶¶ 22, 38-40, 45. In addition, in 2012
the defendant was convicted of two counts of Robbery.
Id. ¶ 41.
sentencing held on March 19, 2013 (ECF 36), the Court
determined that Griffin qualified as a Career Offender, with
a final offense level of 29 and a Criminal History Category
VI. Therefore, the applicable advisory sentencing guidelines
range called for a sentence of 151 to 188 months. In
accordance with the C plea, the Court sentenced the defendant
to 151 months' of imprisonment. ECF 33 (Judgment).
8, 2016, the Federal Public Defender (“FPD”)
filed a Motion to Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, based on Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S.
___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). ECF 43 (“Motion”). 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, the FPD
argued in the Motion that Petitioner no longer qualified as a
Career Offender because his prior convictions for Assault
with Intent to Rob and Robbery with a Deadly Weapon do not
constitute crimes of violence. ECF 43 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
to Beckles, on August 18, 2017, the FPD asked
Petitioner whether he wanted to withdraw his motion. ECF 44
at 2, 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 18, 2017, the FPD filed a Motion to Withdraw as
Counsel. ECF 44. This Court granted the motion. ECF 45.
before this Court is Petitioner's Motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF 43. 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 he does not qualify as a
Career Offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, because the
prior convictions that undergirded his Career Offender
designation are not crimes of violence. ECF 43.
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 ...