United States District Court, D. New Jersey
JEROME D. GLEATON, Petitioner,
DAVID ORTIZ, Respondent.
D. Gleaton, No. 40265-007 FCI - Ft. Dix Petitioner Pro se
Andrew Ruymann, Esq. John Tudor Stinson, Jr., Esq. Office of
the U.S. Attorney Counsel for Respondent
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Jerome D. Gleaton, a prisoner presently confined at the
Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Fort
Dix, New Jersey, filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the validity
of his sentence. ECF No. 1. Respondent filed a Motion to
Dismiss the Petition in which he argues that the Petition
should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. ECF No. 9.
Petitioner filed an opposition to the Motion, ECF No. 12, and
the Motion is now ripe for disposition. For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant the Motion and dismiss the
Petition for lack of jurisdiction.
April 1, 2012, Petitioner was arrested in possession of more
than $120, 000 in drug proceeds. No. 3:12-cr-63, ECF No. 1
(criminal complaint) (E.D. Va.). Later that month, a federal
grand jury indicted Petitioner for attempting to possess with
intent to distribute one hundred grams or more of heroin in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, a crime with a statutory
minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment and a
maximum sentence of forty years' imprisonment.
Id., ECF No. 8 (indictment). See 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(B). Petitioner pled guilty to the lesser offense of
attempting to possess with the intent to distribute a
detectable amount of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
846 pursuant to a plea agreement. Id., ECF Nos. 18
(information), 19 (minute entry for change of plea hearing),
21 (plea agreement). The plea agreement contained an
appellate waiver that would preclude Petitioner's ability
to appeal his conviction and sentence, including the manner
in which the sentence was determined, if he was sentenced
within the statutory maximum of twenty years'
imprisonment. See id., ECF No. 21 at 1 (statutory maximum),
3-4 (appellate waiver). The plea agreement did not contain a
collateral attack waiver. See id.
time Petitioner pled guilty, he had two prior felony drug
trafficking convictions. Id., ECF No. 39 at 3. Those
two priors were utilized in Petitioner's presentence
report to qualify him as a career offender and enhance his
sentence under the Guidelines. Before sentencing, the parties
submitted sentencing memoranda. The Government argued in
favor of an advisory range sentence, which was calculated as
between 151 and 180 months. Id., ECF No. 27.
Petitioner's memorandum expressly raised no objections to
the presentence investigation report. Id., ECF No.
October 17, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia sentenced Petitioner to 160 months of
imprisonment, within the advisory range as outlined in the
presentence report. Id., ECF No. 30. Petitioner did
not file an appeal.
8, 2013, Petitioner filed a motion with his sentencing court
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging his sentence.
Id., ECF No. 33. In the motion and supporting
documents, Petitioner challenged the “career
offender” Guidelines enhancement premised on prior drug
trafficking convictions. See id., ECF No. 35 at
17-18; ECF No. 42 at 1-2; ECF No. 43. His motion was denied.
Id., ECF No. 44. Petitioner sought to appeal the
denial of his motion to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit. However, the Fourth Circuit denied him a certificate
of appealability, precluding his appeal. United States v.
Gleaton, 670 Fed.Appx. 812 (4th Cir. 2016).
then filed the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on May 21, 2018. No. 18-cv-9581,
ECF No. 1 (D.N.J.). In the Petition, Petitioner again
challenges his career offender designation under the
Guidelines. In support of his argument, Petitioner alleges
that his prior conviction under the Criminal Code of the
District of Columbia for attempted distribution of cocaine
does not qualify as a predicate offense for the career
offender enhancement under the Guidelines. He asserts that he
may bring this claim in this petition through §
2255's saving clause provision because of “recent
case law that changed the way court's [sic] interpret
such statutes, ” specifically United States v.
Wheeler, 886 F.3d 415 (4th Cir. 2018). ECF No. 1-1 at 2.
28, Section 2243 of the United States Code provides in
relevant part as follows:
A court, justice or judge entertaining an application for a
writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the writ or issue
an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ
should not be granted, unless it appears from the application