United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
HENRY R. WILHOLT, Jr., District Judge.
Jaime Moreno is an inmate confined by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") in the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, located in Youngstown, Ohio. Proceeding without counsel, Moreno has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [R. 1], challenging his federal firearm conviction and the resulting 60-month consecutive sentence which he is currently serving. Moreno 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 Moreno'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). The Court also 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).
As explained below, the Court will deny Moreno's habeas petition because the claims which he asserts cannot be pursued under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
In September 2000, a federal jury in Montana convicted Moreno of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846, and carrying a firearm in a relation to a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), 18 U.S.C. § 2, the latter falling under an aiding and abetting/ Pinkerton theory. United States v. Jaime Moreno, No. 1:99-CR-48-JDS-2. (D. Mont. 1999) On December 8, 2000, the district court sentenced Moreno to a 300-month prison term, consisting of 240 months on the drug offense and a consecutive 60 month term on the firearm offense. [ Id. R. 242, therein] Moreno appealed, but his conviction was affirmed on November 27, 2002. [ Id. R. 301-11, therein; United States v. Garibay-Lara, et al., 52 F.Appx. 23 (9th Cir. 2002)]
On December 30, 2003, Moreno filed a motion to set aside his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [ Id., R. 339, therein] On January 7, 2004, the district granted that motion in part and denied it in part. [ Id., R. 341, therein] Again, these pleadings are not electronically accessible, but the docket sheet entry of January 7, 2004, states as follows:
court reserves on ground for relief A; grounds for relief B & C are summarily dismissed; dft may perform disc relating only to ground for relief A; by 5/31/04 dft may expand record to support only ground for relief A; govt not required to respond to motion under 28:2255 at this time [339-1]....
See docket sheet entry as to R. 341, therein.
On January 20, 2006, the district court entered an Order denying "Claim A" of Moreno's § 2255 motion. [ Id., R. 407, therein] Because that claim represented the only remaining issue, the district court then denied Moreno's entire § 2255 motion, stating as follows:
As to Claim A of his petition, this Court allowed the Defendant over a year to obtain any additional discovery and expand the record. As of this date, the Court has not received additional evidence from the Defendant in support of this claim.
Given that the burden in a § 2255 petition is on the Defendant to demonstrate that he is entitled to relief and that this Court has given Defendant substantial time to obtain any evidence in support of his claim, Claim A of Defendant's habeas petition shall be DISMISSED.
[ Id., R. 407, pp. 1-2, therein]
In that same Order, the district court also addressed a separate motion Moreno had filed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), requesting that the record be expanded to allow him to assert new legal claims based on Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) and United States v. Ameline, 409 F.3d 1073 (2005). The district court denied Moreno's Rule 15(d) motion, explaining that neither Blakely nor Ameline applied retroactively to ...