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Abeyome v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 1, 2018

HASSAN ABEYOME, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          HASSAN ABEYOME PRO SE PETITIONER

          JACQUELINE CARLE, ESQ. ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

          OPINION

          HON. JOSEPH H. RODRIGUEZ JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Presently before the Court is the pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed by Petitioner Hassan Abeyome (the “§ 2255 Motion”). (ECF No. 1.) For the reasons stated herein, the Court will deny Petitioner's § 2255 Motion and will not issue a certificate of appealability.

         II. BACKGROUND

         i. Petitioner's Plea and Sentencing

         On August 2, 2012, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 84l(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). (See, e.g., Apr. 15, 2013 Crim. J. in United States v. Abeyome, Crim. Action No. 1:12-cr-520 (JHR) (the “Criminal Docket”) at ECF No. 38.) As part of his underlying plea agreement, Petitioner expressly acknowledged “[having] at least two prior felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense” for purposes of designating him as “a Career Offender pursuant to [United States Sentencing Guideline (“USSG”)] § 4B1.1.” (See July 10, 2012 Plea Agreement, Criminal Docket at ECF No. 34, PageID: 81.)

         At sentencing, the Court agreed that Petitioner was appropriately designated as a career offender. (See, e.g., Apr. 11, 2013 Sentencing Hr'g Tr. 5-6, Criminal Docket at ECF No. 40.) The record conclusively shows that Petitioner's career offender designation was supported by multiple criminal convictions, including, inter alia, three separate felony convictions for controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) offenses which Petitioner committed on October 9, 1993, January 11, 1994, and February 4, 2003. (See Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) at ¶¶ 34-67; accord Apr. 11, 2013 Sentencing Hr'g Tr. 3-5.) As a career offender, Petitioner faced an advisory Guideline range of 151-188 months' imprisonment. (See Apr. 11, 2013 Sentencing Hr'g Tr. 6.) That range was reduced to 100-125 months' imprisonment pursuant to USSG § 5K1.1. (Id. at 8.) The Court ultimately imposed a 100-month sentence. (See Apr. 15, 2013 Crim. J.)

         Petitioner appealed that sentence to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on April 23, 2013. (See Criminal Docket at ECF No. 40.) The Third Circuit summarily dismissed that appeal “[i]n accordance with the agreement of the parties” on or about September 6, 2013. (Id. at ECF No. 41.) Petitioner has not further pursued any direct appeal, nor has Petitioner previously filed a motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

         ii. Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015)

         On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court struck down the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) as unconstitutionally vague.[1]Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). On April 18, 2016, the Supreme Court expressly held that Johnson retroactively applies to cases on collateral review. Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016).

         iii. Petitioner's § 2255 Motion

         Petitioner filed his § 2255 Motion on October 31, 2016.[2] (ECF No. 1.) Petitioner asserts that he is entitled to habeas relief because he was improperly designated as a career offender. Petitioner - without acknowledging that this designation is supported by three separate felony CDS convictions - argues only that “[f]ollowing Johnson, [his additional November 21, 2003] conviction for aggravated assault under New Jersey law does not qualify as a predicate offense [for purposes of ...


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