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Goodsonn v. Werlich

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 30, 2017

TONY EUGENE GOODSON, Petitioner,
v.
T.G. WERLICH, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Herndon United States District Judge.

         Petitioner, currently incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution Greenville, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge his enhanced sentence as a career offender following his guilty plea to Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine. United States v. Tony Eugene Goodson, No. CR07-43-LRR (N.D. Iowa 2008) (“criminal case”). The Petition was filed on November 3, 2017. (Doc. 1).

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United States District Courts 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 Petition

         Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment as a Career Offender on August 20, 2008. (Doc. 1-1, p. 2). Petitioner filed a direct appeal of his sentence, and then filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on December 16, 2010. Id. That motion was ultimately denied. Id.

         Petitioner now brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and argues the career offender enhancement he received was based on two state-law convictions that should not have been considered felony drug offenses pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 and 21 U.S.C. § 841. (Doc. 1-1, p. 1). Petitioner requests resentencing. Id.

         Petitioner asserts that his predicate offenses were a state law conviction for Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Case FECR038239, and another state law conviction for Possession with Intent to Deliver in Case FECR038305, in violation of IA ST § 204.401 (now IA ST § 124.401). The relevant statutory text provides:

Except as authorized by this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance, a counterfeit substance, or a simulated controlled substance, or to act with, enter into a common scheme or design with, or conspire with one or more other persons to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, a counterfeit substance, or a simulated controlled substance.

I.C. § 204.401 (italics added)

         Petitioner argues that in light of the decision in Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (U.S. 2016), the Iowa statute is broader than the conduct defined in the Armed Career Criminal Act, which reads:

Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally-- (1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or (2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance.

21 U.S.C. § 841

         Specifically, Petitioner argues that the Iowa statute is broader due to the italicized language, i.e., because it makes reference to the terms “simulated controlled substance” and “ to act with, enter into a common scheme or design ...


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