United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
L. WOOTEN, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eugene Sutton III pled guilty to charges of Hobbs Act
robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (Count 1);
and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of
violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count 5).
The Court sentenced him pursuant to a Rule 11(c)(1)(C)
agreement to a total of 204 months incarceration, consisting
of 120 months on Count 1 and 84 months consecutive on Count
5. ECF Nos. 68, 110. In his § 2255 petition, he says
that Hobbs Act robbery is not a valid § 924(c) predicate
conviction. See ECF No. 211.
makes two arguments why Hobbs Act robbery is not a §
924(c) predicate crime of violence: (1) that Hobbs Act
robbery does not qualify categorically under §
924(c)'s force clause in light of United States v.
Torres-Miguel, 701 F.3d 165 (4th Cir. 2012) and related
cases; and (2) that § 924(c)'s residual clause is
unconstitutionally vague in light of Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).
argument as to the force clause is not persuasive. Every
circuit court that has addressed the issue has concluded that
substantive Hobbs Act robbery is a valid § 924(c)
predicate under the force clause. See United States v.
Garcia-Ortiz, 904 F.3d 102, 109 (1st Cir. 2018);
United States v. Melgar-Cabrera, 892 F.3d 1053,
1064-65 (10th Cir. 2018); United States v. Hill, 890
F.3d 51, 60 (2d Cir. 2018); United States v. Gooch,
850 F.3d 285, 292 (6th Cir. 2017); United States v.
Rivera, 847 F.3d 847, 848-49 (7th Cir. 2017); United
States v. Buck, 847 F.3d 267, 274-75 (5th Cir. 2017);
United States v. Howard, 650 Fed.Appx. 466, 468 (9th
Cir. 2016); In re Saint Fleur, 824 F.3d 1337,
1340-41 (11th Cir. 2016); United States v. House,
825 F.3d 381, 387 (8th Cir. 2016). There is no basis to
conclude that the Fourth Circuit would rule contrary to its
analysis in the above cases applies here and is persuasive.
Accordingly, the Court embraces that authority and concludes
that Hobbs Act robbery qualifies as a § 924(c) predicate
under the force clause. See also Stokeling v. United
States, 139 S.Ct. 544, 551, 554 (2019) (concluding that
a robbery conviction is a violent felony under the ACCA's
force clause as long as the conviction categorically required
force sufficient to overcome a victim's resistance,
however slight the resistance); United States v.
Evans, 848 F.3d 242, 247-48 (4th Cir. 2017) (concluding
that carjacking under 18 U.S.C. § 2119 is a crime of
violence under § 924(c)(3)(A)); United States v.
McNeal, 818 F.3d 141, 153 (4th Cir. 2016) (concluding
that bank robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) is a crime
of violence under § 924(c)(3)(A)).
Hobbs Act robbery qualifies as a crime of violence under
§ 924(c)(3)(A), Petitioner's petition for relief
pursuant to § 2255, ECF No. 211, is DENIED. This action
is hereby DISMISSED.
Court has reviewed this petition in accordance with Rule 11
of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings. In order for
the Court to issue a certificate of appealability, Rule 11
requires that Petitioner satisfy the requirements of 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), which in turn requires that he
“has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” The Court concludes that he has
not made such a showing, and it is therefore not appropriate
to issue a certificate of appealability as to the issues
raised in this petition. Petitioner is advised that he may
seek a certificate from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
under Rule 22 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
 He says throughout his pro se
memorandum that he was convicted of conspiracy to commit
Hobbs Act robbery, see ECF No. 211-1 at 2-6, but that is
incorrect. Count 1 charged him with substantive Hobbs Act
robbery and that is what he pled guilty to. ECF Nos. 2, 68.
To the extent he relies on an argument that conspiracy to
commit Hobbs Act robbery is not a § 924(c) predicate
conviction, there is no merit to that argument, as that is
not the offense of which he was convicted.
 The Court notes that this issue is
currently before the Fourth Circuit in at least three cases:
United States v. Allen, No. 4:02-cr-00750-TLW-2
(D.S.C. Feb. 5, 2019) (order denying § 2255 petition),
appeal docketed, No. 19-6305 (4th Cir. Mar. 4, 2019);
United States v. Gleaton, No. 3:18-cr-00006-TLW-1
(D.S.C. Mar. 26, 2018) (order denying motion to dismiss),
appeal docketed, No. 18-4558 (4th Cir. Aug. 8, 2018);
United States v. Wilson, No. 3:17-cr-00138-TLW-1
(D.S.C. Sept. 22, 2017) (order denying motion to dismiss),
appeal docketed, No. 18-4159 (4th Cir. Mar. 15,
 As to § 924(c)'s residual
clause, the Fourth Circuit recently concluded that it is
unconstitutionally vague. United States v. Simms,914 F.3d 229, 232 (4th Cir. 2019) (en banc). However, Simms
has no impact on this case because that decision only