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Greene v. Quintana

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

November 19, 2014



JOSEPH M. HOOD, Senior District Judge.

Marty Laray Greene is an inmate confined by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") in the Federal Medical Center ("FMC")-Lexington, located in Lexington, Kentucky. Proceeding without counsel, Greene has filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his current BOP security classification.

As Greene has paid the $5.00 filing fee, the Court reviews the § 2241 petition to determine whether, from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it, he is entitled to relief. See Rule 4, Rules Governing 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Cases (applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)); see also Alexander v. N. Bureau of Prisons, 419 F.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). If it appears from the face of the § 2241 petition that relief is not warranted, the Court may summarily dismiss the petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Blevins v. Lamanna, 23 F.Appx. 216, 218 (6th Cir. 2001); Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970).

For the reasons set forth below, the Court has determined that Greene is not entitled to relief under § 2241, and that his habeas petition should be denied.


A. Greene's Criminal Conviction and Sentence

In March 2011, Greene was charged in a Florida federal court with possessing with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(iii); using a machine gun during a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition affecting interstate commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). United States v. Marty Laray Greene, No. 8:11-CR-122-EAK-MAP-A (M.D. Fla. 2011) [8:11-CR-122, R. 1].

On December 23, 2011, Greene signed a Plea Agreement in which he admitted that he was guilty of the § 841 drug offense; acknowledged that he understood the nature of both elements of the offense, i.e., that he knowingly and willfully possessed cocaine base and did so with intent to distribute it; that based on his prior felony drug convictions and the notice filed by the United States under 21 U.S.C. § 851, he faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment because the offense involved 280 grams or more of a Schedule II controlled substance; and that the government would file a motion under the federal sentencing guidelines requesting certain downward adjustments of his sentence. [8:11-CR-122, R. 39].

On January 23, 2012, Greene entered a guilty plea to the § 841 offense [8:11-CR-122, R. 42, 43]; the Magistrate Judge determined that Greene's plea was knowing, voluntary, and supported by a factual basis [8:11-CR-122, R. 44]; and the district court accepted Greene's guilty plea to the § 841 drug offense [8:11-CR-122, R. 46]. The government dismissed the two gun charges, and on May 10, 2012, the district court sentenced Greene to 140-month prison term on the § 841 drug offense. [8:11-CR-122, R. 56]. On August 8, 2013, the United States filed a motion requesting a sentence reduction under Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e) [8:11-CR-122, R. 67], and on August 20, 2013, the district court granted that motion and reduced Greene's prison sentence to 120 months. [8:11-CR-122, R. 72].

In January 2014, Greene filed a motion asking the district court to "clarify" his sentence, to specify (1) that the firearms-related charges in his indictment, Counts Two and Three, were dismissed; and (2) that it "never adopted" a firearms enhancement of his sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. [8:11-CR-122, R. 75]. Greene theorized that if the district court had applied a firearms enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1), he would have received a longer sentence than the one which was actually imposed, and that that because the district court sentenced him as a career offender, it thereby rejected any notion that a firearms enhancement was applicable to his case. The government disputed Greene's assertion that the district court did not enhance his sentence based on gun possession, stating:

Simply put, Greene's description of the application of USSG § 4B1.1 is inaccurate. Section 4B1.1(b) states, "Except as provided in subsection (c), if the offense level for a career offender from the table in this subsection is greater than the offense level otherwise applicable, the offense level from the table in this subsection shall apply." Section 4B1.1 is therefore applied after all other provisions of the guidelines are applied, to yield a total offense level (to include, in this case, include a firearms enhancement under USSG § 2D1.1(b)(1)). There was no finding by the Court that the firearms enhancement did not apply; to do so would have been an obvious, counter-factual error (see e.g., Doc. 39 at 15-17, wherein, after multiple loaded firearms were located in his residence along with 595 grams of crack cocaine, Greene admitted to having carried firearms during drug deals). Rather, Greene's total offense level, which correctly included a 2-level firearms enhancement, was later trumped by the career offender guideline.

[8:11-CR-122, R. 77 at 2 (emphasis added)].

On February 12, 2014, the district court denied Greene's motion seeking a clarification, explaining, "The Court has reviewed the motion and response and finds the response welltaken." ...

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