Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Hernandez

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Victoria Division

April 3, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
JUAN MANUEL HERNANDEZ, Defendant/Movant. Criminal No. 6:13-22

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          JOHN D. RAINEY SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Defendant/Movant Juan Manuel Hernandez' motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and memorandum of law in support. D.E. 76, 77. Movant seeks a sentence reduction under Amendment 794 to the Sentencing Guidelines based on his allegedly minor role. The United States has moved to dismiss this action on the grounds that Movant has not obtained the Fifth Circuit's permission to file a successive § 2255 motion. D.E. 79.

         I. Background

         On May 14, 2013, Movant pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A). The Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) calculated Movant's base offense level, based on 16.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, at 38. He received a two-level enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(5) because the offense involved the importation of methamphetamine and he was not subject to an adjustment for mitigating role. After credit for acceptance of responsibility, his total offense level was 37. Movant's criminal history category was I, resulting in a guideline range of 210-262 months' imprisonment. At sentencing, the Court adopted the PSR without change and sentenced Movant to a below-guideline sentence of 198 months, to be followed by 5 years' supervised release. Judgment was entered March 10, 2014.

         Movant did not appeal his conviction or sentence, but instead filed a § 2255 motion on August 1, 2014, lodging five different complaints concerning ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. The Court denied Movant's § 2255 motion, and his appeal of that denial was dismissed for want of prosecution on September 22, 2015.

         Movant mailed the present motion under § 2255 on October 27, 2016.

         II. Movant's Allegations

         On November 1, 2015, the United States Sentencing Commission issued Amendment 794, which amended the commentary to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2 to clarify the factors a district court should consider in making a determination of minor or mitigating role. Movant claims he is entitled to a sentence reduction under Amendment 794, and his current sentence violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment because he has not been treated equally with those whose sentences were based upon the proper minor role adjustment as the Sentencing Commission intended.

         III. Analysis

         A. 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         There are four cognizable grounds upon which a federal prisoner may move to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence: (1) constitutional issues, (2) challenges to the district court's jurisdiction to impose the sentence, (3) challenges to the length of a sentence in excess of the statutory maximum, and (4) claims that the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255; United States v. Placente, 81 F.3d 555, 558 (5th Cir. 1996). Section 2255 relief “is reserved for transgressions of constitutional rights and for a narrow range of injuries that could not have been raised on direct appeal and would, if condoned, result in a complete miscarriage of justice.” United States v. Vaughn, 955 F.2d 367, 368 (5th Cir. 1992).

         Movant claims his sentence is unconstitutional because he did not receive a downward adjustment for minor role. “A district court's technical application of the Guidelines does not give rise to a constitutional issue cognizable under § 2255.” United States v. Segler, 37 F.3d 1131, 1134 (5th Cir. 1994) (citing United States v. Vaughn, 955 F.2d 367, 368 (5th Cir. 1992)). Even if it did, Movant's present motion was filed after a previous § 2255 motion; thus, his current motion is a second or successive motion.

         In pertinent part, 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h) provides:

         A second or successive motion must be certified as provided in section 2244 by a panel of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.