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Barksdale v. Warden, FCI Williamsburg

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

June 5, 2019

Travis Lemont Barksdale, Petitioner,
v.
Warden, FCI Williamsburg, Respondent.

          REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          KEVIN F. McDONALD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The petitioner, proceeding pro se, brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 for habeas relief. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c), D.S.C., the undersigned is authorized to review such petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court. For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the petitioner's § 2241 petition be dismissed without prejudice and without requiring the respondent to file an answer or return.

         The petitioner's § 2241 petition was entered on the docket on May 28, 2019 (doc. 1). The case is in proper form for judicial screening.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner's Conviction and Sentence

          On February 23, 2009, the petitioner pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute more than fifty grams of cocaine base (crack) and more than five kilograms of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.[1] See United States v. Barksdale, Cr. No. 5:08-382-BO-1, at doc. 29 (E.D. N.C. ). On March 18, 2010, the Honorable Terrence W. Boyle sentenced the petitioner to a term of 330 months' imprisonment (with credit for time served) followed by five years of supervised release. Id. at doc. 61. The sentence included a career offender sentencing enhancement applied under USSG § 4B1.1. Id. The petitioner appealed, and subsequently voluntarily dismissed his appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Id. at docs. 62; 74.

         While pursuing other avenues of relief-as discussed below-the petitioner, on May 14, 2012, filed a motion to reduce his sentence based upon United States v. Simmons, 649 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2011). Id. at doc. 84. Two weeks later, the petitioner filed a second motion to reduce sentence, with the second motion based upon 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). Id. at doc. 85. The petitioner's motions were denied on July 11, 2014, due to the quantity of drugs to which the petitioner pled guilty. Id. at doc. 139.

         The petitioner then filed a sealed motion to reduce his sentence, which was denied on January 9, 2014, by the court. Id. at docs. 122; 123. The petitioner appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed on October 21, 2014. United States v. Barksdale, 585 Fed.Appx. 19 (4th Cir. 2014) (mem.). Three months later, on February 2, 2015, the petitioner filed another motion, seeking a reduction in his sentence based upon Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”). United States v. Barksdale, Cr. No. 5:08-382-BO-1, at doc. 144. The motion was denied on June 22, 2016, based upon the quantity of drugs to which the petitioner pled. Id. at doc. 157.

         Petitioner's § 2255 Motions

         The petitioner filed his first § 2255 motion on July 10, 2012, arguing Simmons, ineffective assistance of counsel, and actual innocence (because he was no longer a career offender in light of case law disqualifying some of his prior convictions). Id. at doc. 97. He then amended his motion to clarify that he was asserting that his motion was timely. Id. at doc. 100. The petitioner's motion was denied on October 18, 2012. Id. at doc. 117. The order indicated that the petitioner could not seek relief under Simmons because Simmons was not retroactive on collateral review. Id. The order continued that even if Simmons were retroactive, it provided the petitioner with no relief because the petitioner's guideline range would exceed the offense level required by the career offender designation. Id.

         On May 3, 2016, the petitioner filed a motion with the Court of Appeals seeking authorization to file a successive habeas application in light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In re Barksdale, No. 16-521 (4th Cir. 2016). The Court of Appeals denied the petitioner's request, noting that the petitioner had two prior controlled substance offense convictions for purposes of the career offender enhancement-even disregarding his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon under Johnson. Id. at doc. 7.

         Petitioner's Prior § 2241 Petitions

         The petitioner has filed a total of three § 2241 habeas petitions (including the instant action) seeking relief via the savings clause provided for in § 2255. The first was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on February 22, 2016. See Barksdale v. Warden, FCC Closeman - USP 1, C/A No. 5:16-92-WTH-PRL (M.D. Fla.). The petitioner's § 2241 petition was dismissed on January 30, 2017, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the petitioner did not meet the savings clause test set forth by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Id. at doc. 9.

         The petitioner's second § 2241 petition was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on June 8, 2017. See Barksdale v. Rickard, C/A No. 1:17-3216 (S.D. W.Va.) (“West Virginia Habeas Case”). The petitioner sought relief via § 2241, arguing that (1) his prior convictions were erroneously counted as two separate convictions; thus, he should not be sentenced as a career offender, and (2) his prior under N.C. General Statute § 14-32(b) no longer qualifies as a prior for career offender enhancement under USSG § 4B1.1(a). Id. at doc. 1. On December 19, 2017, Proposed Findings and Recommendations by the United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl A. Eifert recommended construing the petitioner's § 2241 petition as a § 2255 motion and that the ...


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