United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
ORDER DENYING § 2255 MOTION AND DENYING
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
P. Watters, United States District Court
matter comes before the Court on Defendant/Movant Camille
Adams' motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the
sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Adams seeks relief
under Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __,
135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), which was made retroactive to final
judgments by Welch v. United States, __ U.S.
__, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016).
January 17, 2008, Adams was indicted on one count of
conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act by robbery, a violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Count 1); two counts of Hobbs Act
robbery, violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Counts 2 and
4); two counts of using or carrying a firearm during and in
relation to the robberies alleged in Counts 2 and 4,
violations of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) (Counts 3 and 5);
one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Count 6); and one
count of possessing a stolen firearm, a violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(j) (Count 9). Adams was not named in Counts
7 or 8. Aiding and abetting was also charged in Counts 2
through 5. See Indictment (Doc. 1) at 1-6; Plea
Agreement (Doc. 32) at 4-6 ¶ 4.
parties reached a plea agreement. Adams agreed to plead
guilty to Counts 3, 4, and 5. Count 4 arose from robbery of a
Town Pump Store in Columbus, Montana; it was the predicate
crime for the § 924(c) charge in Count 5. Adams did not
plead guilty to Count 2, which arose from robbery of a
Thriftway Store in Butte, Montana, but it was the predicate
crime for the § 924(c) charge in Count 3. The plea
agreement recited the following elements:
18 USC § 1951-Knowingly Interfere with Interstate
Commerce By Robbery (Hobbs Act Robbery) (Count IV)
First, that defendants induced persons at the Thriftway Store
(Butte, MT) and the Town Pump Food Store (Columbus, MT) to
part with property;
Second, that defendants did so knowingly and deliberately by
Third, that in doing so, interstate commerce was obstructed,
delayed or otherwise affected.
18 USC § 924(c)-Use of Firearm In Federal Crime of
Violence (Counts [sic] V)
First, the defendant committed the crime of interference with
commerce by threats or violence as charged in Count
of the indictment;
Second, the defendant knowingly used a firearm; and
Third, the defendant knowingly used a firearm during and in
relation to the crime.
Plea Agreement at 5-6.
exchange for Adams' guilty plea to Counts 3, 4, and 5,
the United States agreed to dismiss Counts 1, 2, 6, and 9.
Id. at 2 ¶ 5. Adams pled guilty. See
Minutes (Doc. 39).
March 26, 2009, Adams was sentenced to serve 499 months in
prison, consisting of 84 months on Count 3, 115 months on
Count 4, and 300 months on Count 5, with all terms to run
consecutively. Minutes (Doc. 69); Judgment (Doc. 70) at 2.
Adams did not appeal. His conviction became final on April 9,
2009. Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 150 (2012).
now seeks relief under the United States Supreme Court's
recent decision in Johnson v. United States, __ U.S.
__, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). See also
Welch v. United States, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1257,
1265 (2016) (holding that Johnson applies to cases
already final when it was issued).
18 U.S.C. § 924(e)
Johnson v. United States, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015) ("Johnson" or "Johnson
II"), the Supreme Court considered once again the
meaning of a provision in the Armed Career Criminal Act
("ACCA"), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). The ACCA imposes
a harsher sentence on a person convicted of a firearms
offense if the person has three prior convictions for a
violent felony or controlled substance offense. The Act
defines a "violent felony" as a felony that:
(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened
use of physical force against the person of another; or
(ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of
explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a
serious potential risk of physical injury to another[.]
18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). Johnson discussed
only the italicized clause, commonly called the
Supreme Court found the residual clause so vague that it
deprived defendants of fair notice of the consequences of
their decisions and so loose that it invited arbitrary
enforcement. Therefore, the decision held, federal sentencing
courts may no longer enhance a defendant's sentence based
on a prior conviction when that conviction qualifies as a
"violent felony" only under the residual clause.
See Johnson, 135 U.S. at 2555-60, 2563.
did not address either subsection (i) or the first line of
subsection (ii) in § ...