United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
19, 2012, Rodney Augustine, Jr., Petitioner, entered a plea
of guilty as to Count One of an Indictment charging him with
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possession with Intent to
Distribute Oxycodone, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.
ECF 62; ECF 65 (Plea Agreement). Judge William D. Quarles,
Jr., to whom the case was initially assigned, held sentencing
on May 8, 2014. ECF 106. At sentencing, the Court determined
that Augustine qualified as a Career Offender, because his
underlying offense was a controlled substance offense and he
had at least two qualifying predicate offenses in Maryland:
robbery and first-degree assault. See ECF 113 at 1.
Judge Quarles sentenced defendant to a term of incarceration
of 48 months. ECF 107 (Judgment).
18, 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 113 (“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 do not
constitute crimes of violence under the “enumerated
offenses” clause or the “force” clause in
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a). ECF 113 at 2. The next day, May 19,
2016, the case was reassigned to me due to Judge
Quarles's retirement. See Docket.
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 115
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 115. This Court granted the motion two days
later. ECF 116.
before this Court is Petitioner's Motion under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF 113. 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.
§ 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 term exceeding one year, that -
(1) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened
use of physical force against the person of ...