United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
JOHNNIE D. MATHIS, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Johnnie D. Mathis, has filed this motion for relief from his
sentence, asserting that he should be resentenced under the
provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). Mathis contends
that his sentencing range has been lowered since his original
sentencing date by the Sentencing Commission. Mathis seeks to
use Amendment 798 as the basis for his claim, along with
various citations from Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015) and Mathis v. United States, 136
S.Ct. 2243 (2016). Mathis believes that Amendment 798 must be
applied retroactively to his case and that he is entitled to
relief based on Johnson and Mathis. There
is no merit to any of Mathis' claims.
Underlying conviction and sentence:
was originally indicted on February 18, 2010, by a Grand Jury
for the Eastern District of Missouri for the charge of Felon
in Possession of Ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). (DCD 1) Based on the law that existed at that
time, Mathis would be classified as an Armed Career Criminal
if convicted of that charge, since Mathis had three prior
violent felony convictions. As noted below, defendants
convicted of being a Felon in Possession of Firearms and/or
Ammunition and who are Armed Career Criminals are subject to
a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of life. After
Mathis made his Initial Appearance, his attorney approached
the Government and requested that the Government consider
amending the charge to Possession of Stolen Ammunition in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j).
significance of that amended charge was that the
classification of Armed Career Criminal did not apply to
§ 922(j) convictions and the maximum punishment for that
violation was ten years. Mathis' attorney agreed that
Mathis would plead guilty to that charge and accept a
sentence of 120 months, the maximum punishment for that
charge. Everyone understood that this sentence would be a
significant upward variance for the conviction for Possession
of Stolen Ammunition, but would be substantially less than
Mathis would receive as an Armed Career Criminal. The
Government agreed to the request and prepared a Superceding
Information charging Mathis with the offense of Possession of
Stolen Ammunition. (DCD 49) On November 8, 2010, Mathis pled
guilty to the Superceding Information by appearance in this
Court and with a written Plea Agreement. (DCD 53) Mathis
agreed to waive indictment by a grand jury on the charge made
in the Superceding Information. Mathis agreed to accept a
sentence of 120 months for that conviction. The Government
agreed to dismiss Mathis' charge of Felon in Possession
of Ammunition as charged in the Indictment at sentencing. The
written plea agreement set out the parties' agreement as
to the amended charge and the reasons for the sentence:
defendant understands that his Indictment charged the
being a Felon in Possession of Ammunition as an Armed Career
Criminal pursuant to the sentencing provisions of 18 U.S.C.
924(e). Those provisions required that the defendant be
sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months. The
parties have agreed that the defendant will instead plead
guilty to a lesser offense in an Information, that of
Possession of Stolen Ammunition. This new charge carries a
maximum sentence of 120 months. The parties have agreed that
they will each recommend that this Court impose a sentence of
120 months upon the defendant as a fair and reasonable
sentence, given the circumstances of the crime and this plea
agreement. In the event that the Sentencing Guidelines
recommend a term of imprisonment of less than 120 months,
each party agrees that it will recommend that an upward
variance be granted to result in a sentence of 120 months.
The parties will further recommend that this sentence be run
concurrent with any undischarged term of state imprisonment
and that the federal sentence will begin on the date the
federal sentence is imposed.
(DCD 53, pp. 2, 3)
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) was
prepared to calculate Mathis' Sentencing Guideline range.
That report reflected that Mathis' Total Offense Level
was 21 and his Criminal History Category was VI. (PSR, pp. 3,
4, 8) Mathis' Sentencing Guideline range was calculated
to be 77 to 96 months. (PSR, p. 14) The PSR also disclosed
the effect of the Plea Agreement, noting that Mathis was
facing a minimum sentence of 180 months if convicted of the
original charge of Felon in Possession of Ammunition, and
that the maximum sentence for the current charge was 120
months. (PSR, p. 14)
February 8, 2011, Mathis appeared before this Court for
sentencing. There were no objections to the findings or
calculations set out in the PSR. (Sent. Tr. p. 2) The Court
found Mathis' Sentencing Guideline range to be 77 to 96
months imprisonment, just as recommended by the PSR. (Sent.
Tr. p. 2) The Government recommended a sentence of 120 months
as set out in the Plea Agreement. (Sent. Tr. p. 3)
Mathis' attorney recommended a sentence of 120 months.
(Sent. Tr. p. 4) The Court then imposed the sentence of 120
months for Mathis. (Sent. Tr. p. 6) Mathis did not appeal his
makes several claims in his Motion, which he asserts is under
the authority of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). Those claims,
and the Government's Responses, are set out as follows:
“Mathis was subjected to an enhanced criminal history
category as a Career Offender pursuant to the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines §§ 4B1.2, 2K2.2.”
Mathis' Motion, p. 1.
appears to believe that he was sentenced as either a career
offender under U.S.S. G. § 4B1.1 or an Armed Career
Criminal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Of course,
Mathis was not classified as either a career offender or
Armed Career Criminal. His PSR does not contain any reference
to any offense levels being assigned to Mathis as either a
career offender or Armed Career Criminal. Mathis'
assertion that he was subjected to an enhanced criminal
history category as a career offender is simply mistaken. A
cursory review of Mathis' PSR reveals that Mathis'
Sentencing Guideline range was calculated under U.S.S.G.
§ 2K2.1, not the career offender guidelines under
no matter what the offense levels, criminal history category
or Guideline range was, Mathis agreed to a sentence of 120
months. Mathis specifically agreed to an upward variance to a
final sentence of 120 months, which is what this Court
imposed. Mathis' sentence is a direct result of his
bargain and a sentence that Mathis himself requested.
factual matter, Mathis' assertion that he was subjected
to an enhanced criminal history category as a career offender
is simply incorrect.
“The defendant falls within the exception in §
3582(c)(2)'s “ . . . who has been sentenced to a
term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 994(o) . . .”
Mathis' Motion, p. 1.
claim, Mathis contends that he is eligible for a reduction in
his sentence pursuant to § 3582(c)(2). Mathis'
original offense levels were calculated based on his having
convictions for two crimes of violence. If Amendment 798 were
retroactively applied to his sentence, Mathis' Guideline