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Maybell v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 10, 2017

BRYANT K. MAYBELL, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Bryant K. Maybell's Amended Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 5). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         Factual and Procedural Background A. Underlying Criminal Case

         Petitioner Bryant Maybell was a part of a group who called themselves the “JackMob” and sold crack cocaine on Jackson Street in Carbondale, Illinois, from 2005 until early 2009. In November 2008, three members of the group were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. United States v. Wooley, et al., SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235, Doc. 1. Four months later, the indictment was superseded to add five more group members, including Maybell, to the conspiracy charge. Id. at Doc. 49. Approximately one year later, the indictment was superseded a second time, and in addition to the conspiracy charge, Maybell was charged with two counts of possession of crack cocaine and one count of distribution of crack cocaine. Id. at Doc. 218.

         Maybell pleaded guilty to the possession and distribution charges on February 17, 2010, but he elected to go to trial on the conspiracy charge. United States v. Maybell, SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235-5, Doc. 257. On July 12, 2010, prior to trial, Maybell was sentenced, on the possession and distribution charges. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy calculated a total offense level of 33 and a criminal history category of five, which resulted in a guideline range of 210 to 262 months. Id. at Doc. 310. Judge Murphy sentenced Maybell to 240 months' imprisonment on each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently.[1] Id. at Doc. 315.

         Shortly after the sentencing, the Government filed a Third Superseding Indictment, which added two counts against a co-defendant but did not alter the conspiracy charge against Maybell. United States v. Maybell, SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235-5, Doc. 333. On December 15, 2010, the Government filed a Fourth Superseding Indictment that expanded the dates of the conspiracy to January 2005 through February 2009. Id. at Doc. 400. Each time an indictment was filed, the Government filed an Information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 to establish that Maybell had two prior felony drug convictions for possession of crack cocaine, which increased his potential prison term on each count. Id. at Docs. 118, 240, 358, 426.[2]

         Maybell's trial on the conspiracy charge began on January 24, 2011. United States v. Maybell, SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235-5, Doc. 428. After a three day trial, the jury convicted Maybell of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Id. at Docs. 433, 436, 438. The jury also returned a special verdict finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Maybell conspired to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. Id. at Doc. 440.

         According to the Third Revised Presentence Investigation Report, Maybell's relevant conduct involved 2, 898.13 grams of crack cocaine, which resulted in a base offense level of 36. United States v. Maybell, SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235-5, Doc. 490. Two more levels were added because Maybell possessed a firearm during the commission of the conspiracy, which resulted in a total offense level of 38. Id. His criminal history category was five. Id. This resulted in a guideline range of 360 months to life. Id. Because of his two previous drug convictions, however, Maybell faced a statutory sentence of life imprisonment. Id. On August 8, 2011, at just 26-years-old, Maybell was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was to run concurrently with his previous sentences on the possession and distribution charges. Id. at Docs. 501, 506, 507.

         Maybell appealed his conviction and sentence. United States v. Maybell, SDIL Case No. 3:08-cr-30235-5, Doc. 508. Attorney Hannah V. Garst was appointed to represent Maybell on appeal. Id. at Doc. 524. Ms. Garst later sought to withdraw under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), because she considered the appeal to be frivolous. See Id. at Doc. 554-2 (also available at United States v. Maybell, 482 F. App'x probation, but his probation was quickly revoked, and he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Id. at Doc. 490. The second was a 2008 conviction for possession of crack cocaine. Id. at Docs. 240, 490. He was sentenced to 104 days' time served and 24 months' probation. Id. at Doc. 490.App'x171, 175 (7th Cir. 2012)). Maybell was given the opportunity to respond to Ms. Garst's Anders brief, but declined to do so. See Id. The Seventh Circuit determined that any challenges Maybell could have mounted regarding the sufficiency of the evidence, the guidelines calculations, the imposition of an enhanced sentence, or the application of the Fair Sentencing Act would have been frivolous. Id. Consequently, Ms. Garst's motion to withdraw was granted, and Maybell's appeal was dismissed. Id.

         B. § 2255 Petition

         On May 31, 2013, Maybell filed his pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. 1). On November 21, 2013, Maybell sought to amend his motion (Doc. 2). Maybell's request was granted, and his amended § 2255 motion was filed on December 11, 2013 (Doc. 5). The Government filed its response on March 17, 2014 (Doc. 11). Maybell did not file a reply.

         Maybell asks the Court to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence because:

1) his appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel “by not arguing Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder”;
2) his sentence was “unconstitutionally enhanced” under Alleyne v. United States “by judicial factfinding of facts not found in the charging instrument”; and
3) “prosecutorial misconduct, malicious, vindictive prosecution [misled] the judge to enhance ...

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