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DeGlace v. FCI-Manchester

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

November 5, 2013

CARLOS DeGLACE, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, FCI-MANCHESTER, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE, District Judge.

Carlos DeGlace is an inmate confined in the Federal Correctional Institution located in Manchester, Kentucky. DeGlace has filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his federal drug convictions. [R. 1.] DeGlace has paid the $5.00 filing fee. [R. 2]

The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 F.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). The Court must deny the petition "if it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief" Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates DeGlace's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003), accepts his factual allegations as true, and construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

Having reviewed the petition, the Court must deny it because DeGlace cannot pursue his claims under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

I

In 1998, a federal jury in Florida convicted DeGlace of one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 846, and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). United States v. Deglace, No. 98-8-CR-5-LAC (N.D. Fla. 1998). The district court sentenced DeGlace to 364 months imprisonment on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. DeGlace appealed, but his conviction was affirmed. United States v. Deglace, 99 F.Appx. 880 (11th Cir. 2004).[1]

DeGlace next filed a series of motions seeking relief from his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In October 2001, DeGlace filed his first § 2255 motion, which the district court found was devoid of any factual basis. On November 19, 2011, DeGlace filed a motion to amend his original § 2255 motion. On May 20, 2002, the district court denied DeGlace's motion to amend on the grounds that the purported amended motion was time-barred, and also denied DeGlace's request for a certificate of appealability. [R. 246, 247, and 255 therein.] DeGlace appealed, but the Eleventh Circuit denied him a certificate of appealability. [R. 431, therein; see also DeGlace v. United States, No. 05-13585-H (11th Cir. Oct. 27, 2005).]

In January 2006, DeGlace filed another § 2255 motion, which the district court denied that motion as an unauthorized second or successive § 2255 motion. [R. 433, 436, therein.] DeGlace appealed, but the Eleventh Circuit again denied him a certificate of appealability. [R, 460, therein; see also DeGlace v. United States, No. 06-12306-G (11th Cir. Aug. 18, 2005).]

On July 29, 2010, DeGlace filed a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. DeGlace v. Warden, FCC Coleman-Low, No. 5:10-CV-346-WTH-TBS (M. D. Fla. 2010). DeGlace argued that, pursuant to the Supreme Court's opinion in United States v. O'Brien, 560 U.S. 218 (2010), the drug quantities used to determine his sentence under § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii) were elements of the offense that had to be charged in the indictment and proved to a jury. On June 3, 2011, the district court dismissed the § 2241 petition for lack of jurisdiction, finding that DeGlace could not avail himself of the savings clause in 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) to assert such a claim under § 2241. [R. 7, 8 therein.]

DeGlace appealed, arguing that the district court erred by ruling that the savings clause in § 2255(e) did not apply to permit him to file his 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the denial of the § 2241 petition, holding that DeGlace had unsuccessfully asserted the same sentencing challenge in his § 2255 motion; that DeGlace should have requested, but did not request, appellate court permission to raise his sentencing claim in a second or successive § 2255 motion; and that O'Brien neither applied to Deglace's § 841 conviction nor stood for the proposition that the quantity of drugs for which a defendant is convicted is a question for the jury. Deglace v. Warden, FCC Coleman-Low, 484 F.Appx. 307, 309 (11th Cir. 2012). DeGlace filed petition seeking a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, but on November 30, 2012, that request was denied. [R. 15, therein.] United States v. DeGlace, No. 98-8-CR-5-LAC (N.D. Fla. 1998).

II

A

In the instant § 2241 petition, DeGlace argues that the indictment under which he was charged in the district court was constitutionally deficient because it failed to allege the drug amount; that the jury was not instructed to consider the drug amount, which was an essential element of the offense; and that the district court rather than the jury determined the amount of drugs which he possessed. DeGlace contends that his current sentence violates both his Fifth Amendment right to due process of law, and his Sixth Amendment right to have a jury determine all of the factual predicates of the charged offenses. In support of his argument, DeGlace relies on a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court, Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. ...


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