United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
WILLIAM A. GHOLSON, #38293-044, Petitioner,
J.A. TERRIS, Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
who is currently confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Milan, Michigan, has filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner
seeks relief from his federal criminal sentence imposed by
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri. For the reasons explained below, petitioner's
challenge is not properly filed under § 2241. The Court
shall therefore dismiss the petition.
October 7, 2011, petitioner pled guilty to one count of
conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to
distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and fifty
grams of cocaine base, as well as three counts of
distribution of more than five grams of cocaine base. See
United States v. Gholson, No. 4:10-cr-618-AGF-3 (E.D.
Mo.) [docket entry 559]. On March 5, 2012, petitioner was
sentenced as a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the
United States Sentencing Guidelines to 204 months'
imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised
Audrey G. Fleissig of the Eastern District of Missouri
recently summarized the background of this case as follows:
On December 3, 2014, in [United States v. Gholson
(“Gholson I”), Case No.
4:10-CR-618-AGF-3], counsel filed a motion for retroactive
application of amendment 782 of the Guidelines. The probation
office filed a report stating that movant was sentenced as a
career offender under the Guidelines, and thus not eligible
for a reduction in his sentence based on amendment 782.
Following the filing of this probation report, defense
counsel filed a motion to withdraw his previously filed
motion, which the Court granted. See Gholson I, ECF
On August 10, 2017, in Gholson I, movant filed
another pro se motion for retroactive application of
amendment 782 of the Guidelines. See Gholson I, ECF
No. 948. The Court denied movant's pro se motion because,
again, movant's offense level was determined based on his
career offender status under § 4B1.1. See
Gholson at ECF No. 951. Additionally, the Court stated
that movant's sentence of 204 months' imprisonment
resulted from a downward variance below the Guideline range.
“This sentence is below the Guideline range under the
amended Guidelines. Pursuant to U.S.S.G. §
1B1.10(b)(C)(A), a Court may not reduce a defendant's
term of imprisonment to a term that is less than the minimum
of the Amended Guideline range.” Id.
On September 25, 2015, movant filed a pro se motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 based on Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015). The Court opened the instant case,
Gholson v. United States, 4:15-CV-1478-AGF
(“Gholson II”), and appointed the
Federal Public Defender to represent movant. On March 21,
2016, counsel filed an amended motion to vacate under §
2255. Counsel asserted that under Johnson movant did
not qualify as a career offender.
Simultaneously, counsel filed a motion to stay Gholson
II based on the Supreme Court's pending case
Welch v. United States, which presented the question
of whether Johnson applied retroactively in a
Guidelines context. The Court granted this stay. During the
stay of the case pending Welch, counsel file another
motion to stay pending the Supreme Court's decision in
Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017),
which the Court also granted. See ECF No. 19.
On April 13, 2017, after Beckles was decided,
movant's counsel filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss
without prejudice Gholson II. See ECF No.
23. Movant, himself, filed a signed acknowledgement that he
had authorized counsel to file the motion to voluntarily
dismiss. See Id. On April 17, 2017, the Court
granted movant's motion and dismissed this case without
On January 19, 2018, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
issued a Judgment in Gholson II, denying
movant's petition for authorization to file a successive
habeas application in the district court.
1On June 14, 2018, movant filed another pro se
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Court opened another new case, and
denied movant's motion as time barred. See Gholson v.
United States, Case No. 4:18-CV-970-AGF (E.D. Mo. filed
Jun. 14, 2018) (“Gholson III”).
Gholson v. United States, No. 4:15-CV-1478-AGF, 2019
WL 2184962, at *1-2 (E.D. Mo. May 21, 2019) (alteration
30, 2018, petitioner filed a pro se motion in the Eastern
District of Missouri to reinstate his amended motion to
vacate, set aside, or correct sentence pursuant to §
2255. Petitioner sought “to reopen th[e] case that, on
the advice of counsel, [he] voluntarily dismissed under Rule
41(a) after the Supreme Court's decision in
Beckles.” Id. at 2. Petitioner stated
in the motion that “in light of Johnson, his
Sentence violates Due Process of Law. This Court should
reinstate The Material that was Requested held in abeyance.
This Court should Vacate his erroneous Career Offender