United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER AND OPINION
E. SHADID, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Petitioner Michael Gerald Gamboa's
Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. ) and Motion for
Resolution and/or Bifurcation and Certification of Claims for
Appeal (Doc. ). For the following reasons, Gamboa's
Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. ) is GRANTED, the
Judgment is VACATED, and the Clerk is DIRECTED to enter an
Amended Judgment DENYING the Petition. Gamboa's Motion
for Resolution and/or Bifurcation and Certification of Claims
for Appeal (Doc. ) is DENIED.
brought this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) challenging the validity of his
sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the
District of North Dakota. While the background of
Gamboa's criminal case is laid out in this Court's
February 28, 2019 Order (Doc. 32), for convenience, the Court
will restate the relevant background in this Order as well.
In 2003, Gamboa was found guilty of conspiracy to possess
with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and
abetting in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, as defined
under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and 18 U.S.C. § 2
(Count 1s), possession of methamphetamine with intent to
distribute and aiding and abetting in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Count 2s), simple
possession of cocaine and aiding and abetting 21 U.S.C.
§ 844(a), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Count 3s), using and
carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug
trafficking crime and aiding and abetting in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Count 4s),
possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking
crime and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(a)(1)(A), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (Count 5s),
possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2)
(Count 6s), and possession of firearms and ammunition by a
fugitive from justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) (Count 7s). United States v.
Gamboa, No. 3:02-cr-00047 (D.N.D.) (d/e 305); PSR at 1-2
trial, the Government filed a notice pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 851(a), alleging that Gamboa had three prior
convictions for felony drug offenses: (1) a conviction for a
drug distribution conspiracy in violation of Minn. Stat.
§ 152.096, subd. 1, occurring between September 1994 and
November 1995, involving cocaine, methamphetamine, and/or
marijuana, entered on October 11, 1996, in Polk County
District Court, Minnesota; (2) a conviction for a controlled
substance offense in the 5th degree in violation of Minn.
Stat. §§152.025, subds. 2(1) and 3(a), and 609.05
subd. 1, possession of a mixture containing cocaine occurring
on or about September 13, 1995, entered on October 11, 1996,
in Polk County District Court, Minnesota; and (3) a
conviction for delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana)
in violation of North Dakota Century Code, §§
19-01.1- 05(5)(t), 19-03.1-23(1)(b), and 12.1-32-01(3),
occurring on or about November 27, 1995, entered in Grand
Forks County District Court, North Dakota, on October 23,
1996. See Resp. App. 3-4, Information filed in
Criminal Case (Doc 11-1).
sentencing, Gamboa argued that his prior offenses should not
count as separate predicate felony convictions. However, the
“court made specific findings that the North Dakota
conviction for the delivery of marijuana in Grand Forks
County and the drug conspiracy conviction in Polk County,
Minnesota, were both separate predicate felony convictions
for the purpose of enhancing the sentences on Counts One and
Two.” United States v. Gamboa, 439 F.3d 796,
813 (8th Cir. 2006).
time of sentencing, in 2002, the finding that Gamboa had
“two or more prior convictions for a felony drug
offense” meant he was subject to a mandatory term of
life imprisonment without release pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A)(viii) on Counts 1 and 2. Accordingly, he
was sentenced to concurrent terms of life imprisonment on
Counts 1 and 2. Additionally, he was sentenced to 90
days' imprisonment on Count 3, 10 years' imprisonment
on Counts 6 and 7, 30 years' imprisonment on Count 4, to
be served consecutively to the sentences on Counts 1, 2, 3,
6, and 7, and life imprisonment on Count 5, to run
consecutively to the term on Count 4.
appealed, and his conviction on Count 7 was vacated, but his
sentence and conviction were affirmed in all other respects.
United States v. Gamboa, 439 F.3d 796 (8th Cir.
2006). His Petition for Writ of Certiorari was denied by the
Supreme Court on November 13, 2006. His initial Motion Under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a
Sentence was denied on February 26, 2008, and the Eighth
Circuit declined to issue a certificate of appealability.
Gamboa v. United States, No. 09-1781 (8th Cir. Oct.
20, 2009). Gamboa has since filed numerous motions and
petitions for post-conviction relief, all unrelated to the
issues he has brought here. See, e.g., Gamboa v. United
States, No. 13-2674 (8th Cir. Oct. 20, 2013) (affirming
dismissal of successive § 2255 motion brought without
authorization); Gamboa v. United States, No. 12-3864
(8th Cir. Mar. 28, 2013) (denying application for successive
§ 2255 motion); Gamboa v. Stine, No.
6:07-cv-00002 (E.D.K.Y. Jan. 5, 2007) (denying § 2241
petition); Gamboa v. Warden, FCC Coleman, No.
5:11-cv-00202 (M.D. Fl. May 20, 2011) (dismissing § 2241
petition). Gamboa v. Krueger, 668 Fed.Appx. 654 (7th
Cir. Sep. 24, 2016) (affirming dismissal of § 2241
26, 2017, Gamboa filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Relying on
Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016), he
argued that his prior convictions did not constitute felony
drug offenses for the purposes of the sentencing enhancement
under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A), as defined in 21 U.S.C.
§ 802(44). Accordingly, he argued, he should not have
been subject to mandatory life sentences. He also challenged
the district court's decision to withhold federal
benefits from him for life pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §
February 28, 2019, this Court dismissed Gamboa's
Petition, finding he could not show his claims fell within
the 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) savings clause. See
Order (Doc. 32). Specifically, this Court found that
Gamboa's claim was not previously foreclosed. Judgment
was entered on March 4, 2019 (Doc. 33). Gamboa timely filed
his Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). (Doc. 34). He also filed a Motion for
Resolution and/or Bifurcation and Certification of Claims for
Appeal (Doc. 35), and a Notice of Reliance of Additional
Authority seeking to rely on United States v. Davis,
139 S.Ct. 2319 (2019) (Doc. 36).
Gamboa's Motion for Reconsideration is Granted, But His
Petition Still Must be Dismissed Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
first motion is a Motion for Reconsideration brought pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). (Doc. 34). In order “[t]o
prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion, the moving party must clearly
establish (1) that the court committed a manifest error of
law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded
entry of judgment.” Edgewood Manor Apartment Homes,
LLC v. RSUI Indem. Co., 733 F.3d 761, 770 (7th Cir.
2013) (internal quotation omitted).); see also Vesely v.
Armslist LLC, 2014 WL 3907114, * 3 (7th Cir. Aug. 12,
2014) (“[W]e have held that a Rule 59(e) motion is not
to be used to ‘rehash' previously rejected
arguments”). Here, Gamboa argues that the Court
misapplied the Seventh Circuit's standard for determining
when a claim was previously foreclosed, that the Eighth
Circuit case of United States v. Payton, 918 F.2d 54
(8th Cir. 1990), foreclosed his claim, and that the Seventh
Circuit's decision in Ojeda is inapposite. The
Court agrees that part of its Order could be read as
misstating the law, and will clarify its reasoning here.
stated in the Court's February Order, generally, federal
prisoners who seek to collaterally attack their conviction or
sentence must proceed by way of motion under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, the so-called “federal prisoner's substitute
for habeas corpus.” Camacho v. English,
16-3509, 2017 WL 4330368, at *1 (7th Cir. Aug. 22, 2017)
(quoting Brown v. Rios, 696 F.3d 638, 640 (7th Cir.
2012)). The exception to this rule is found in § 2255
itself: a federal prisoner may petition under § 2241 if
the remedy under § 2255 “is inadequate or
ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28
U.S.C. § 2255(e). Under the “escape hatch”
of § 2255(e), “[a] federal prisoner should be
permitted to seek habeas corpus only if he had no reasonable
opportunity to obtain earlier judicial correction of a
fundamental defect in his conviction or sentence because the
law changed after his first 2255 motion.” In re
Davenport, 147 F.3d 605, 611 (7th Cir. 1998). Thus, the
Seventh Circuit has held that “alternative relief under
§ 2241 is available only in limited circumstances:
specifically, only upon showing “(1) that he relies on
‘not a constitutional case, but a
statutory-interpretation case, so [that he] could not have
invoked it by means of a second or successive section 2255
motion,' (2) that the new rule applies retroactively to
cases on collateral review and could not have been invoked in
his earlier proceeding, and (3) that the error is