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Bradham v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

August 30, 2017

MAURICE SENTELL BRADHAM, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. No. 1-1

          ORDER AND OPINION

          Honorable Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Judge

         Movant Maurice Sentell Bradham is a federal inmate currently housed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia. On August 14, 2014, Movant, proceeding pro se, filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. ECF No. 1271. Respondent United States of America (the “Government”) filed a response in opposition to Movant's motion and a motion for summary judgment on October 31, 2014. ECF Nos. 1286, 1287. On July 23, 2015, Movant filed a motion for disposition under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(b). On June 13, 2016, Movant filed an amended § 2255 motion. ECF No. 1400. The Government responded and moved for summary judgment on July 14, 2016. ECF Nos. 1407, 1408.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 21, 2010, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Movant with: (1) conspiracy to distribute fifty grams or more of cocaine base and 500 grams or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (“Count 1”); (2) possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B) (“Count 16”); (3) possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (“Count 17”); and (4) possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B) (“Count 18”). Indictment at 1, 3, 10-11, ECF No. 3.

         On June 9, 2010, the Government filed an Information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 for the purpose of notifying Movant of the Government's intent to seek enhanced penalties based on Movant's prior felony drug conviction in 2005. ECF No. 183. The prior offense subjected Movant to a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years on Count 1, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). Id.

         Movant entered into a written plea agreement with the Government on August 16, 2010. ECF No. 308. The plea agreement advised Movant that sentencing is within the sole discretion of the Court, and that the Court would consider the relevant section of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Id. Also, within the plea agreement Movant waived his right to appeal his conviction or sentence, both directly and collaterally, including any proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Id. This waiver did not bar claims of ineffective assistance of counsel or prosecutorial misconduct. Plea Hr'g Tr. 26:14-15, ECF No. 1283. Movant acknowledged that he was waiving these rights in exchange for an opportunity to earn a sentence reduction pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1 or Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b). Resp't Mem. in Supp. of Summ. J. 4, ECF No. 1286.

         Pursuant to the plea agreement, Movant pleaded guilty on August 16, 2010 to Counts 1 and 17 of the indictment, and Counts 16 and 18 were dismissed by motion of the Government. Id. at 3. Movant verbally confirmed that he understood and agreed to the terms of his plea agreement. Plea Hr'g Tr. 28:23-24, ECF No. 1283.

         On August 31, 2011, the court sentenced Movant to 180 months, consisting of 120 months for Count 1 and 60 months for Count 17, to run consecutively. ECF No. 881. After Movant was sentenced, the Government made two motions for sentence reduction pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P.35(b). ECF Nos. 989 (filed June 29, 2012), 1223 (filed January 27, 2014). On July 25, 2012, the court granted the first Rule 35 motion and resentenced Movant to 111 months, consisting of 51 months as to Count 1 and 60 months as to Count 17, to run consecutively. ECF No. 997. On March 12, 2014, the court granted the Government's second Rule 35 motion and resentenced Movant to 106 months, consisting of 46 months for Count 1 and 60 months for Count 17, to run consecutively.ECF No. 1240.

         On April 21, 2014, Movant filed a motion to dismiss Count 17 of the Indictment. The court notified Movant that the court intended to construe Movant's motion as a § 2255 motion. ECF No.1249, 1267. Subsequently, Movant filed this motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, on August 14, 2014. ECF No. 1271. Movant asserts the following grounds for relief:

GROUND ONE: Insufficient Evidence - There were “no” D.N.A. or Forensis reports, or fingerprints of Mr. Bradham on the gun or any video or audio reports of him having a gun.
GROUND TWO: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel - Defense Counsel has a conflict of interest in my due process rights and Sixth Amendment rights to file a motion to the court to Dismiss Count (17) of The Indictment before accepting the plea contruant or before sentenced (he) was grossly neglicent by not challenging laboratory results for count (17) to be cross-examined in my case.
GROUND THREE: Retroactive Amendment Effect On November 1, 2014 - Whether this court hold this decision in abeyance until November 1, 2014 or until November 1, 2014, for additional released as to the Amendment 782 as to the retroactivity.
GROUND FOUR: Smarter Sentencing Act - Whether this court can hold it's decision in abeyance until, November 1, 2014; or hold abeyance until, November 1, 2015 to allow consideration of it's decision as to ...

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