United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. Hamilton UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Movant Ricky Lynn Payne's
Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or
Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody, based on
Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).
(ECF 1). Movant has also filed a Supplement to his Motion.
(ECF 21). The government has filed a Response. (ECF 22).
Movant has not filed a timely Reply. As such Movant's
Motion is ready for disposition. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court will deny the Motion.
December 13, 2005, Movant was charged, by Indictment, with
being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e). The Indictment
charged that, on or about July 23, 2005, in Dunklin County,
within the Eastern District of Missouri, Movant possessed a
“.38 Special caliber derringer”; that Movant had
been previously convicted, in Missouri, on August 26, 1981,
and on January 13, 1993, of the felonies of Burglary and
Stealing; that Movant had also been previously convicted, in
Arkansas, on January 26, 1987, of the felony of Breaking and
Entering; and that each of these prior three felonies was
punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.
United States v. Payne, Case No. 1:05CR182-1-JCH
(E.D. Mo.) (ECF 1).
February 27, 2006, Movant entered into a written plea
agreement, in which he agreed that he had previously been
convicted of the felonies as alleged in the Indictment. In
exchange for Movant's agreeing to plead guilty, as
charged in the Indictment, the Government agreed that no
further federal prosecution would be brought in the Eastern
District of Missouri in connection with the offense conduct.
Payne, Case No. 1:05CR182-1-JCH (ECF 25 at 2, 8).
Probation Office thereafter prepared a Presentence
Investigation Report (PSR). (ECF 1.1 at 16-34). The PSR
stated that Movant had at least three prior violent felony
convictions and was subject to an enhanced sentence under the
provisions of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e) (a person who violates § 922(g) and has 3
prior violent felony convictions shall be sentenced for not
less than fifteen years); it recommended that Movant be
sentenced as an armed career criminal (ACC); and it did not
specify which of Movant's prior convictions constituted
violent felonies for purposes of the ACCA. (ECF 1.1 at 20).
On May 22, 2006, the Court sentenced Movant to 188 months in
prison. Payne, Case No. 1:05CR182-1-JCH (ECF 33).
September 8, 2015, following the Supreme Court's decision
in Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551, Movant filed his §
2255 Motion in which he argues that his Arkansas Breaking and
Entering felony conviction is no longer a valid qualifying
prior felony conviction under the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. §
924(e), and that, as such, he is being unlawfully detained
because of “a wrongful imposition of sentence
enhancement under the [ACCA].” (ECF 1 at 9). In the
Supplement to his § 2255 Motion, Movant also argues that
Mathis v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016),
supports his claim. (ECF 21). Movant does not contest that
the two Missouri second degree burglary convictions specified
in the Indictment and the Plea Agreement qualify as predicate
violent felony offenses under the ACCA. The Government
argues, in its Response, that, even excluding Movant's
Arkansas Breaking and Entering felony conviction, he still
qualified as an ACC because he had three Missouri second
degree burglary convictions which remain qualifying predicate
offenses under the ACCA. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court agrees with the Government, and will, therefore, deny
explained in Welch v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1257,
Federal law prohibits any felon-meaning a person who has been
convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in
prison-from possessing a firearm. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). A
person who violates that restriction can be sentenced to
prison for up to 10 years. § 924(a)(2). For some felons,
however, the Armed Career Criminal Act imposes a much more
severe penalty. Under the Act, a person who possesses a
firearm after three or more convictions for a “serious
drug offense” or a “violent felony” is
subject to a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum
sentence of life in prison. § 924(e)(1). Because the
ordinary maximum sentence for a felon in possession of a
firearm is 10 years, while the minimum sentence under the
Armed Career Criminal Act is 15 years, a person sentenced
under the Act will receive a prison term at least five years
longer than the law otherwise would allow.
particular, the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) provides:
case of a person who violates section 922(g) of this title
and has three previous convictions by any court referred to
in section 922(g)(1) of this title for a violent felony or a
serious drug offense, or both, committed on occasions
different from one another, such person shall be fined under
this title and imprisoned not less than fifteen years, and,
notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall
not suspend the sentence of, or grant a probationary sentence
to, such person with respect to the conviction under section
ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2) further provides:
(B) the term “violent felony” means any crime
punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding ...