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Jones v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

September 20, 2017

TRAVIS SENTELL JONES
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Criminal No. 1:14cr52-HSO-JCG-1

          ORDER DENYING TRAVIS SENTELL JONES'S [28] MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE BY A PERSON IN FEDERAL CUSTODY PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255, AND DENYING AS MOOT TRAVIS SENTELL JONES'S [34] MOTION FOR VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL

          HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         BEFORE THE COURT are Travis Sentell Jones's Motion [28] to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and Jones's Motion [36] for Voluntary Dismissal. After due consideration of the issues, the record, and relevant legal authority, the Court is of the opinion that Jones's § 2255 Motion [28] should be denied without an evidentiary hearing. His Motion [34] for Voluntary Dismissal is rendered moot.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On August 5, 2014, a Grand Jury returned a one-count Indictment [3] against Travis Sentell Jones (“Jones”). On October 17, 2014, Jones elected to enter an open plea and pleaded guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment, which charged that

on or about January 8, 2012, in George County in the Southern Division of the Southern District of Mississippi, the defendant, TRAVIS SENTELL JONES, having been previously convicted of a felony, that is a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, knowingly possessed in and affecting commerce a firearm, in violation of Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), Title 18, United States Code.

Indictment [3] at 1.

         To assist the Court in sentencing, the United States Probation Office prepared a Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”). See PSR [24] (filed under seal). In the PSR, the probation officer recommended that appropriate Guideline to consider was United States Sentencing Guideline § 2K2.1(a)(2) (2014 ed.), which called for a base offense level of 24 because Jones had committed this offense subsequent to sustaining at least two felony convictions for crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses. Id. at 6, 8. “Crime of violence” is defined in Guideline § 4B1.2(a).

         Jones was sentenced on February 24, 2015, to a term of imprisonment of 120 months as to Count 1 of the Indictment. The Court ordered that upon release from imprisonment, Jones was to be placed on supervised release for a term of three years. The Judgment [26] was entered on February 27, 2015. J. [26] at 1-3. Jones did not file a direct appeal.

         On June 17, 2016, Jones filed a Motion [28] through counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Jones asks the Court to re-sentence him without the application of the § 2K2.1 sentencing enhancement. Mot. [28] at 24. Upon the Government's Motion [32], on August 11, 2016, the Court stayed this action pending the United States Supreme Court's final resolution of Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017), which was decided on March 6, 2017.

         On March 21, 2017, Jones filed a Motion for Voluntary Dismissal [34] asking the Court to dismiss his § 2255 Motion without prejudice. Mot. for Voluntary Dismissal [34] at 1-2. The Government responds that the Court should deny the § 2255 Motion on its merits or, in the alternative, dismiss it with prejudice. Resp. [35] at 4.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Jones's § 2255 Motion will be denied without an evidentiary hearing.

         Jones relies upon Johnson to argue that the “residual clause” of Sentencing Guidelines § 4B1.2(a) is unconstitutionally vague, and that in light of Johnson, Powell's previous convictions do not constitute “crimes of violence” under the Guidelines.

         Johnson held that imposing an increased sentence under the “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (the “ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B), violated the Constitution's guarantee of due process. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563. Welch v. United States,136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016), held that the rule ...


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