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Jesus Albarran v. United States of America

December 28, 2010

JESUS ALBARRAN,
PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL.,
RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Robert B. Kugler

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

KUGLER, District Judge

Jesus Albarran, a federal prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging a federal sentence imposed in 2006 by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. Having thoroughly reviewed the Petition, as well as the docket in the underlying criminal proceeding, this Court will summarily dismiss the Petition for lack of jurisdiction.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner challenges a 292-month term of imprisonment imposed by judgment filed September 12, 2006, after a jury convicted him of conspiracy with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846, and conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h). See United States v. Albarran, Crim. No. 00-0117-XR-17 judgment (W.D. TX. Sept. 12, 2006). Petitioner appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to prove his identity. On June 29, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. See United States v. Albarran, C.A. No. 06-51366 slip op. (5th Cir. Jun. 29, 2007).

On November 9, 2007, Petitioner filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting that counsel was ineffective for several reasons. See United States v. Albarran, Crim. No. 00-0117-XR-17 Docket Entry #472 (W.D. TX. Nov. 9, 2007). After an evidentiary hearing was conducted, on June 6, 2008, United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez denied relief.

Petitioner, who is now confined at FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey, filed the Petition presently before this Court on May 19, 2010. He raises the following grounds: (1) failure to disclose all material evidence prior to trial in violation of the Fifth Amendment; (2) the 292-month term of imprisonment violates the Eighth Amendment; (3) the 292-month prison term was imposed in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a); (4) the 292-month sentence violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendment because the quantity of 119.75 kilograms was not an element of the indictment and not proved beyond a reasonable doubt; and (5) the excessive sentence deprived Petitioner of liberty without due process of law. (Docket Entry #1, pp. 7, 9, 13, 17, 21.) (Pet. ¶ 17.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Section 2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides in relevant part:

(c) The writ of habeas corpus shall not extend to a prisoner unless-- . . . He is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).

Generally, a challenge to the validity of a federal conviction or sentence must be brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333 (1974); Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir. 2002). This is because § 2255 expressly prohibits a district court from entertaining a challenge to a prisoner's federal sentence under § 2241 unless the remedy under § 2255 is "inadequate or ineffective." *fn1 See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Specifically, § 2255(e) provides:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus [pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2241] in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also ...


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