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Madrid-Martinez v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

January 8, 2020

NILSON MADRID-MARTINEZ (BOP Register No. 46044-177), Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ED KINKEADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Movant Nilson Madrid-Martinez, a federal prisoner, filed a pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Dkt. Nos. 1 & 2. The government filed a response, see Dkt. No. 8, and Madrid filed a reply brief, see Dkt. No. 9. The Court now DENIES the Section 2255 motion for these reasons.

         Applicable Background

         The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in its decision affirming the Court's judgment, set out the applicable background.

[Madrid] pleaded guilty unconditionally … to being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). He was apprehended by United States Immigration Customs and Enforcement Officers responding to information that an aggravated felon lived at a particular residence in Dallas. The officers received consent to enter and search the residence, and detained Madrid to determine his identity, alienage, and deportability. After waiving his Miranda rights, Madrid acknowledged: five firearms found in the residence belonged to him; and he was present in the United States unlawfully, after having been previously deported.
He was charged with three criminal counts and moved the court to suppress the evidence against him. After his motion was denied, Madrid pleaded guilty to the firearm-possession charge, and the Government dropped the remaining charges. The presentence investigation report (PSR) recommended a base offense level of 33 based on, inter alia, the conclusion that Madrid qualified as an armed career criminal, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) and Sentencing Guideline § 4B1.4(b)(3)(B). Madrid objected to the PSR recommendations, but the court overruled his objections and sentenced him to 180 months' imprisonment.

United States v. Madrid-Martinez, 695 Fed.Appx. 743, 744-45 (5th Cir. 2017) (per curiam).

         Madrid raises two claims in his Section 2255 motion. He first challenges, under Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), the sentencing enhancement he received under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) based on his prior convictions for burglary of a habitation under Texas Penal Code § 30.02 [Grounds One, Two, and Three]. And he claims that his trial counsel violated his right to affective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment [Ground Four].

         Legal Standards and Analysis

         I. The ACCA Enhancement

As recounted in Johnson,
Federal law forbids certain people - such as convicted felons, persons committed to mental institutions, and drug users - to ship, possess, and receive firearms. § 922(g). In general, the law punishes violation of this ban by up to 10 years' imprisonment. § 924(a)(2). But if the violator has three or more earlier convictions for a “serious drug offense” or a “violent felony, ” the [ACCA] increases his prison term to a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life. § 924(e)(1); Curtis Johnson v. United States, 559 U.S. 133, 136 (2010). The Act defines “violent felony” as follows:
“any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year ... that -
“(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the ...

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