United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
P. Watters United States District Judge.
case comes before the Court on Defendant/Movant
Armstrong's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Armstrong is a
federal prisoner proceeding pro se.
November 16, 2015, Armstrong was given an opportunity to
clarify or supplement his allegations. He responded on
December 7, 2015. Counsel Colin Stephens was appointed to
represent him on April 5, 2016. Armstrong filed an amended
motion on August 15, 2016. On an unopposed motion, the United
States was authorized to depose trial counsel, Chief Federal
Defender Anthony Gallagher. On November 1, 2016, the United
States filed its answer to the § 2255 motion. Armstrong
was permitted to file a reply, see Order (Doc. 267)
at 2 ¶ 2, but he did not do so.
makes three claims for relief:
1. Counsel was ineffective because he did not obtain evidence
showing that Armstrong was in jail for seven months from
February 17, 2012, and so failed to support his objection to
Armstrong's criminal history calculation.
2. Counsel was ineffective because he failed to call
witnesses whose testimony might have reduced Armstrong's
culpability and resulting advisory guideline range.
3. Counsel was ineffective in advising Armstrong of the
consequences of pleading guilty or going to trial and the
sentence he would receive.
§ 2255 Mot. (Doc. 266) at 28.
September 20, 2013, a grand jury charged Armstrong with the
Count 1 conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute at least 500 grams of a substance containing
methamphetamine or at least 50 grams of pure methamphetamine,
a violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1);
Count 2 possessing with intent to distribute at least 500
grams of a substance containing methamphetamine or at least
50 grams of pure methamphetamine, a violation of 21 U.S.C.
Count 3 distributing a substance containing a detectable
amount of methamphetamine, a violation of 21 U.S.C. §
Count 5 distributing a substance containing at least five
grams of pure methamphetamine, a violation of 21 ...