United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
TYRONE L. ANDREWS, Petitioner,
THOMAS SMITH, Warden, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Wilhoit. Jr. United States District Judge.
L. Andrews is a prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without a
lawyer, Andrews has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [D. E. No. 1]. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny
2010, Andrews pled guilty to multiple crimes, including but
not limited to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution
of cocaine, and using a communication device to facilitate a
drug trafficking crime. See United States v.
Andrews, No. 6:07-cr-10221-JTM-2 (D. Kan. 2010). In
Andrews's plea agreement, he agreed that he
"knowingly and voluntarily waives any right to appeal or
collaterally attack any matter in connection with this
prosecution, the defendant's conviction, or the
components of the sentence to be imposed herein including the
length and conditions of supervised release." See
Id. at R. 658 at 20. The only exceptions to this waiver
were to allow Andrews to appeal his sentence if the trial
court departed upwards from the applicable sentencing
guidelines range or to assert claims of either ineffective
assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct. See
Id. at R. 658 at 21. Ultimately, the trial court
sentenced Andrews to 240 months in prison. Id. at R.
the waivers in his plea agreement, Andrews appealed his
convictions and sentence to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The Government, however,
promptly moved to enforce Andrews's appeal waiver, and
the Tenth Circuit granted that motion and dismissed the
appeal. See United States v. Andrews, 421 Fed.Appx.
819, 821-22 (10th Cir. 2010).
thereafter, Andrews filed a motion to vacate his sentence
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Andrews asserted numerous
claims, including ineffective assistance of trial counsel,
prosecutorial misconduct, and judicial misconduct. The
district court, however, denied Andrews's motion.
United States v. Andrews, No. 6:07-cr-10221-JTM-2 at
R. 828 (D. Kan. Nov. 28, 2011). The Tenth Circuit then denied
Andrews a certificate of appealability and dismissed his
appeal. Id. at R. 868. Subsequently, upon the
Government's motion, the trial court reduced
Andrews's sentence to 13 years in prison. Id. at
then sought authorization to file a second or successive
motion to vacate his sentence under § 2255. Andrews
argued that he improperly received a two-point sentence
enhancement even though he did not plead guilty to a gun
charge; evidence from an illegal vehicle stop should be
suppressed; the Speedy Trial Act was violated; the third
superseding indictment was not proven to a grand jury; and
all evidence from a "sneak and peek" should be
suppressed. The Tenth Circuit, however, denied Andrews
permission to file his second or successive § 2255
motion because he did not present either new law or facts, as
required for such authorization. Id. at R. 973.
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court,
reasserting many of the same arguments he made in his request
for authorization to file a second or successive § 2255
motion. Indeed, Andrews raises the following issues in his
petition: (1) "failure to prove the legality of the
grand jury third superseding indictment;" (2)
"illegal vehicle stop;" (3) "improperly
received a two-point enhancement;" (4) "Speedy
Trial rights;" (5) "the sneak and peek was
suppressed"; and (6) "Letting Andrews take an open
plea with no argument." [D. E. No. 1-1].
Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions.
28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of
Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). A
petition will be denied "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 pursuant to Rule 1(b)).
The Court evaluates Andrews's petition under a more
lenient standard because he is not represented by an
attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). At this stage of the proceedings, the Court accepts
the petitioner's factual allegations as true and
construes all legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
initial matter, Andrews knowingly and voluntarily waived his
right to collaterally attack his convictions and sentence in
his plea agreement. As this Court has recognized on numerous
occasions, such waivers are valid and enforceable in §
2241 proceedings. See Ewing v. Sepanek, No.
0:14-cv-111-HRW (E.D. Ky. Jan. 6, 2015); Solis-Caceres v.
Sepanek, No. 0:13-cv-021-HRW (E.D. Ky. Aug. 6, 2013)
(collecting cases); Combs v. Hickey, No.
5:11-cv-012-JMH (E.D. Ky. Jan. 7, 2011). See also United
States v. Clardy, 877 F.3d 228, 230 (6th Cir. 2017).
Andrews is therefore barred from challenging his convictions
and sentence in his habeas petition.
said, even if Andrews's plea waiver was not enforceable,
his § 2241 petition would still constitute an
impermissible collateral attack on his sentence. While a
federal prisoner may challenge the legality of his
convictions or sentence through a direct appeal and a §
2255 motion, he generally may not do so in a § 2241
petition. See United States v. Peterman, 249 F.3d
458, 461 (6th Cir. 2001) (explaining the distinction between
a § 2255 motion and a § 2241 petition). After all,
a § 2241 petition is usually only a vehicle for
challenges to actions taken by prison officials that affect
the manner in which the prisoner's sentence is being
carried out, such as computing sentence credits or
determining parole eligibility. See Terrell v. United
States, 564 F.3d 442, 447 (6th Cir. 2009). Simply put,
Andrews cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of
challenging his convictions and sentence.
sure, there are limited exceptions under which federal
prisoners have been permitted to challenge the validity of
their convictions or sentences in a § 2241 petition. But
the Sixth Circuit has explained that a prisoner can only
proceed in this manner if he can demonstrate that an
intervening change in statutory law establishes his actual
innocence, see Wooten v. Cauley, 677 F.3d 303,
307-08 (6th Cir. 2012), or shows that his sentence was
improperly enhanced. See Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d
591, 599-600 (6th Cir. 2016). In this case, Andrews has not
made such a showing. Instead, Andrews is simply trying to
re-litigate arguments that he either made or could have made
on direct appeal and in his § 2255 motion. That is not
proper in a § 2241 petition.
it is ORDERED that:
1. Andrews's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [D. E. ...