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United States v. Thompson

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 27, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
VINCENT THOMPSON Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING THOMPSON MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE (ECF. No. 189)

          Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge

         Vincent Thompson's (“Thompson”) charges arose from the July 1, 2002 execution of a search warrant at his home, 20174 Concord, Detroit, Michigan. When law enforcement officers arrived to serve the warrant, Thompson dropped cocaine as he fled. The officers' search of the premises resulted in the discovery of more narcotics and a weapon.

         Thompson challenges his federal sentences for drugs and weapons. He filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255(a).

         For the reasons set forth below, Thompson's petition is DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In July 2002, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant on 20174 Concord in Detroit, Michigan. Upon arrival, they found Thompson's wife Tedra Thompson and Christopher Johnson (“Johnson”) on the porch. As they approached, Johnson ran to the door and yelled “Five-0.” Police detained those on the porch and entered the house. They saw Thompson running from the living room and into the basement. As Thompson ran down the stairs, he dropped cocaine. The police caught Thompson in the basement.

         The officers secured the home and searched it. They found cocaine in the kitchen, crack cocaine in the basement, and marijuana in a dresser drawer. In the dresser, they also found Thompson's Michigan identification card which confirmed that 20174 Concord was his address. Thompson was indicted and charged.

         A jury found Petitioner Vincent Thompson (“Thompson”) guilty of (1) possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); (2) possession with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); (3) felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and 924(e); and (4) possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).The Court sentenced him to 360 months in prison.

         The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Thompson filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 challenging the representation of his then attorney, Craig Tank. This Court granted the motion and, after a hearing, vacated the jury's verdicts.

         In 2008, pursuant to a Rule 11 agreement, Thompson pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

         The Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (“PSIR”) filed by the United States Probation Department noted Thompson's two prior felony convictions for “controlled substance offenses” in 2001, which it used to classify Thompson as a “Career Offender” under the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”), 18 U.S.C.S. Appx.§4B1.1 (2008) (amended 2016). The classification increased his sentence.

         This Court sentenced Thompson to 184 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release.

         On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court declared the “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. §924 (e)(2)(B)(ii), unconstitutionally vague. See Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). Subsequently, Thompson filed the motion now before the court raising the following issues:

1. The “residual clause” of the USSG in place at the time of sentencing, 18 U.S.C.S. Appx. § 4B1.2(a)(2), is also unconstitutional because it is ...

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