United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING MOTION UNDER 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a criminal case. Petitioner Steven Dent, proceeding pro se,
contends he is incarcerated in violation of his
constitutional rights. Petitioner plead guilty under a Rule
11 agreement to conspiracy to distribute five (5) kilograms
or more of cocaine, in violation to 21 U.S.C. § 846.
Under the plea agreement, Petitioner waived his right to
appeal his conviction or sentence, except that he preserved
his right to appeal the order denying his motion to suppress.
The Court sentenced Petitioner to 20 years. The Sixth Circuit
affirmed the denial of his motion to suppress. United
States v. Dent, 599 F. App'x 584 (6th Cir. 2015).
the Court is Petitioner's motion under § 2255
petition. The government contends that
Petitioner's claims are defaulted and lack merit. For the
reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.
March 15, 2007, Michigan State Trooper Matthew Unterbrink,
stopped Petitioner on the grounds he had a defective
taillight in violation of state traffic law. In reality,
Petitioner had a defective running light which is not
illegal. During the stop, Petitioner provided false
information regarding his identity to Unterbrink and another
trooper, Trooper Ben Bordner who had arrived on the scene to
assist. Petitioner also tried to flee but was subsequently
arrested. The troopers searched Petitioner's car and
recovered a hidden duffle bag that contained thirteen (13)
kilograms of cocaine. Petitioner was charged with drug
trafficking by the State of Michigan, and a preliminary
examination was conducted on April 2, 2007.
20, 2008, Petitioner was again stopped in Monroe County,
Michigan and officers recovered, in his possession, over 500
grams of heroin. Following his arrest, Petitioner agreed to
cooperate with law enforcement. Petitioner did not cooperate;
he fled. Petitioner was located years later, in 2012, in
Arizona living under an assumed name.
was then indicted for conspiracy to distribute the cocaine
that was seized during the March 13, 2007 traffic stop, and
conspiracy to distribute the heroin that was seized on June
20, 2008. As noted above, Petitioner plead guilty to one
count of conspiracy and was sentenced to 20 years
motion presents nine issues:
1. Prior State drug convictions that were used to enhance his
federal sentence did not qualify for federal sentencing
enhancement. . .
2. Petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights were violated
during the traffic stop.
3. Petitioner says that the “language of the career
offender Guidelines dictates that the date of conviction, not
the date of sentencing or term of incarnation, should
determine whether a prior conviction ...