United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jevon Hopkins is an inmate at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without a
lawyer, Hopkins filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [D. E. Nos. 1, 1-1]. This
matter is now pending before this Court on initial screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. See Alexander v.
Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th
Cir. 2011). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
deny Hopkins's petition.
2007, Hopkins pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50
grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a
detectable amount of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 846 and 841. See United States v. Roland
Hopkins, No. l:06-cr-439 at D. E. Nos. 35, 47 (M.D. N.C.
2007). According to Hopkins [D. E. No. 1-1 at 1], the trial
court determined that he was a career offender pursuant to
section 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines
(U.S.S.G.) because he had at least two prior felony
convictions for either a crime of violence or controlled
substance offense. As a result, Hopkins's sentence was
enhanced, and the trial court sentenced him to 385 months in
prison, though it later reduced that sentence to 270 months.
See Hopkins, No. 1:06-cr-439 at D. E. Nos. 47, 176.
Hopkins subsequently tried to vacate his sentence pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255, but his efforts were unsuccessful.
has now filed a § 2241 petition with this Court, and it
is clear that he is attempting to challenge the validity of
his sentence in his underlying criminal case. Indeed, Hopkins
repeatedly argues that, in light of intervening case law, two
of his prior convictions are no longer valid predicate
offenses for purposes of a sentence enhancement under
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. [D. E. No. 1 at 5; No. 1-1 at 1, 4-7].
Ultimately, Hopkins asks this Court to enter an order that
says "that both predicates used to apply the career
offender enhancement under United States Sentencing Guideline
4B1.1 are not valid predicates" and then "remand[s]
him back to the district court to be resentenced
accordingly." [D. E. No. 1 at 8].
petition, however, constitutes an impermissible collateral
attack on his sentence. Although a federal prisoner may
challenge the legality of his sentence on direct appeal and
through a timely § 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 habeas petition). After all, a § 2241 petition is
usually only a vehicle for challenges to actions taken by
prison officials that affect the way 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, Hopkins cannot use a § 2241 petition as a way of
challenging his sentence.
true that, in Hill v. Masters, 836 F.3d 591 (6th
Cir. 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit indicated for the first time that a prisoner may
challenge his sentence in a § 2241 petition. However, in
doing so, the court expressly limited its decision to the
following, narrow circumstances:
(1) prisoners who were sentenced under the mandatory
guidelines regime pre-United States v. Booker, 543
U.S. 220 . . . (2005), (2) who were foreclosed from filing a
successive petition under § 2255, and (3) when a
subsequent, retroactive change in statutory interpretation by
the Supreme Court reveals that a previous conviction is not a
predicate offense for a career-offender enhancement.
Id. at 599-600.
circumstances do not apply in this case. That is because the
trial court sentenced Hopkins in 2007, well after the Supreme
Court's decision in Booker made the sentencing
guidelines advisory rather than mandatory. On this basis
alone, Hopkins's claim does not fall within
Hill's limited exception for bringing a §
2241 petition to challenge his federal sentence. See
Loza-Gracia v. Streeval, No. 18-5923 (6th Cir. March 12,
2019) ("Loza-Gracia cannot proceed under Hill
because he was sentenced in 2011, long after the Supreme
Court's January 2005 Booker decision made the
guidelines advisory rather than mandatory.");
Contreras v. Ormond, No. 18-5020 (6th Cir. Sept. 10,
2018) ("[The petitioner's] case does not fall within
the narrow exception recognized by Hill because he
was sentenced post Booker in 2009, under the
advisory sentencing guidelines."); Arroyo v.
Ormond, No. 17-5837 (6th Cir. April 6, 2018) (holding
that since the petitioner was sentenced after
Booker, his "claim does not fall within
Hill's limited exception for bringing a §
2241 habeas petition to challenge a federal sentence").
Thus, Hopkins's attack on the § 4B1.1 enhancement is
unavailing. Finally, to the extent that Hopkins's
sentence was also enhanced pursuant to another provision in
the law, Hopkins puts forth no arguments regarding such
matters. In short, Hopkins's § 2241 petition is
it is ORDERED as follows:
Hopkins's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [D. E. No. 1] is
action is DISMISSED and