United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. HERNDON, DISTRICT JUDGE
Ronald Wiggins is currently incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution located in Greenville, Illinois
(“FCI-Greenville”). He brings this habeas action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in order to challenge his
enhanced sentence as a career offender based on two prior
Illinois drug convictions. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
matter is now before the Court for review of the § 2241
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases in United States District Courts, which provides
that upon preliminary consideration by the district court
judge, “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the
petitioner.” Rule 1(b) of those Rules gives this Court
the authority to apply the rules to other habeas corpus
cases. The § 2241 Petition survives preliminary review
under this standard.
2004, Wiggins was convicted in the United States District
Court for the Central District of Illinois of robbing a
credit union in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a).
See United States v. Wiggins, No. 03-CR-20032-JES-1
(C.D. Ill.) (“criminal case”). At the time,
Wiggins had two prior state drug trafficking convictions for
possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and
for manufacturing with intent to deliver a controlled
substance in Cook County Case Nos. 95-CR-01364 and
93-CR-535501. (Doc. 1, pp. 2, 7). Consequently, Wiggins was
sentenced as a career offender to 20 years of imprisonment.
appointed attorney filed a notice of appeal. United
States v. Wiggins, App. No. 04-1698 (7th Cir.). Because
he was unable to find a non-frivolous issue for appeal,
however, the attorney subsequently sought permission to
withdraw under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738
(1967). The Seventh Circuit granted the motion and dismissed
the appeal on June 30, 2005. United States v.
Wiggins, 138 F. App'x 842 (7th Cir. 2005).
September 7, 2006, Wiggins filed a motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Wiggins v. United States, No. 06-CV-2169 (C.D. Ill.
2006) (“collateral attack”). Wiggins argued
unsuccessfully that he was denied the effective assistance of
counsel. Id. The § 2255 motion was denied on
December 3, 2007. Id; Wiggins v. United
States, 2007 WL 4277442 (C.D. Ill.Dec. 3, 2007). Wiggins
filed a notice of appeal, which the Seventh Circuit construed
as an application for a certificate of appealability and
denied. Wiggins v. United States, App. No.
08-1100 (7th Cir. Apr. 8, 2008).
then filed a second § 2255 motion on January 31, 2013,
again arguing that his conviction must be set aside based on
the ineffective assistance of his counsel. Wiggins v.
United States, No. 06-CV-2169 (C.D. Ill. 2006)
(“second collateral attack”). The district court
dismissed the second § 2255 motion the following day,
after recognizing it as a second or successive motion for
which it lacked jurisdiction to consider. Wiggins v.
United States, 2013 WL 411484 (C.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2013).
The Seventh Circuit denied Wiggins certification to appeal
and informed him that he could only pursue a successive
§ 2255 motion if he received prior authorization to do
so. Wiggins v. United States, App. No. 13-1366 (7th
Cir. Oct. 8, 2013) (Doc. 15).
Wiggins filed another § 2255 motion on May 5, 2014.
Wiggins v. United States, No. 06-CV-2169 (C.D. Ill.
2006) (“third collateral attack”). Relying on
Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), he
argued that his sentence violated the Sixth Amendment. The
district court dismissed the third collateral attack for lack
of jurisdiction two days later. Wiggins v. United
States, 2014 WL 1856727 (C.D. Ill. May 7, 2014). The
Seventh Circuit denied Wiggins' subsequent request for a
certificate of appealability. Wiggins v. United
States, App. No. 14-2203 (7th Cir. Nov. 14, 2014). At
the same time, the Seventh Circuit also warned Wiggins that
he “risks monetary sanctions and a restriction on
future filings should he continue launching frivolous
collateral attacks.” Id. (citing Alexander
v. United States, 121 F.3d 312, 315 (7th Cir. 1997)).
14, 2016, Wiggins sought authorization to file a successive
§ 2255 motion, in order to challenge his sentence as a
career offender under the United States Supreme Court's
decision in Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S. ___,
135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Wiggins v. United States,
App. No. 16-2142 (7th Cir.) (Doc. 7). The Seventh Circuit
would not authorize a second or successive § 2255 motion
because it concluded that his sentence is consistent with
September 12, 2016, he nevertheless filed a letter in the
district court that was construed as a § 2255 motion.
(Doc. 81, criminal case). The court forwarded the letter to
the Seventh Circuit for consideration. Wiggins v. United
States, App. No. 16-3417 (7th Cir. 2016). On September
20, 2016, the Seventh Circuit again denied Wiggins
authorization to file a successive § 2255 motion. (Doc.
83, criminal case). Wiggins attempted to challenge his career
offender designation, this time arguing that his two drug
trafficking convictions are not qualifying “controlled
substance offenses” under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(b). The
Seventh Circuit explained that his claim was barred under
§ 2244(b)(2) because it was not “newly
available.” Id. (citing Brannigan v.
United States, 249 F.3d 584, 589 (7th Cir. 2001);
Bennett v. United States, 119 F.3d 470, 472 (7th
Cir. 1997)). To the extent he relied on Johnson, the
Seventh Circuit concluded that his claim was also barred
because Wiggins was previously denied permission to file a
successive § 2255 motion on the basis of
Johnson. (Doc. 83, criminal case).
instant § 2241 Petition, Wiggins asserts that his two
prior Illinois drug trafficking convictions no longer trigger
an enhanced sentence under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines based on the Supreme Court's decision in
Mathis v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct.
2243 (2016). (Doc. 1, pp. 7-10) (citing U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1
and 4B1.2). Both prior convictions resulted from violations
of 720 ILCS § 570/401, a statute that Wiggins maintains
is divisible. (Doc. 1, p. 7). The terms
“manufacture” or “deliver” in the
Illinois statute are allegedly more broadly defined than the
generic “controlled substance offenses” ...