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Scott v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Elkins

August 17, 2017

TRUMAN SCOTT, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOHN PRESTON BAILEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On this day, the above-styled matter came before the Court for consideration of the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble. Pursuant to this Court's Local Rules, this action was referred to Magistrate Judge Trumble for submission of a proposed R&R. Magistrate Judge Trumble filed his R&R on April 27, 2017 [Doc. 8]. In that filing, the magistrate judge recommended that this Court deny petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2241 motion [Doc. 1] and Motion for Hearing [Doc. 2], and dismiss this action from the docket.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c), this Court is required to make a de novo review of those portions of the magistrate judge's findings to which objection is timely made. However, the Court is not required to review, under a de novo or any other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge as to those portions of the findings or recommendation to which no objections are addressed. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). In addition, failure to file timely objections constitutes a waiver of de novo review and the right to appeal this Court's Order. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Snyder v. Ridenour, 889 F.2d 1363, 1366 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984).

         Here, objections to Magistrate Judge Trumble's R&R were due within fourteen (14) days of receipt, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The petitioner timely filed his objections [Doc. 10] on May 11, 2017. Accordingly, this Court will conduct a de novo review of the portions of the magistrate judge's R&R to which the petitioner objects. The remainder of the R&R will be reviewed for clear error.

         I. Background[1]

         On February 1, 1999, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, petitioner was found guilty on all counts of a six-count indictment that charged him and two others with: (1) conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; (2) conspiracy to interfere with commerce by violence; (3) interference with commerce by violence; (4) attempt to interfere with commerce by violence in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951; (5) use of a sawed-off shotgun during a drug trafficking crime or crime of violence under 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(c)(1); and (6) use of a firearm during a crime of violence and aiding and abetting under 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(c)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2 [See 1:16-cv-119, Doc. 9-1 at 4, 17; see also United States v. Scott, 208 F.3d 211, 2000 WL 274966 at *1 (4th Cir. March 14, 2000)]. On April 19, 1999, petitioner was sentenced on Count 1 to 405 months' imprisonment; on Counts 2, 3 and 4 to 240 months' imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence in Count 1; on Count 5 to 120 months' imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentences on Counts 1-4; and on Count 6 to 240 months' imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentences in Counts 1-5 [See 1:16-cv-119, Doc. 9-1 at 19].[2] Petitioner appealed his convictions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit which affirmed his convictions on all counts on March 14, 2000. Scott, 208 F.3d 211, 2000 WL 274966 at *1. Petitioner filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court which was denied on November 27, 2000. Truman Scott v. United States, 121 S.Ct. 563 (2000).

         In the time since his conviction was affirmed, the petitioner has filed a number of habeas corpus petitions, all of which have been denied and contain the same or similar allegations against corrupt law enforcement officers in Robeson County, North Carolina.

         United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina summarized petitioner's claims in 2011 by stating:

“Petitioner's claims arise from the federal prosecution and conviction of law enforcement personnel following an investigation entitled ‘Operation Tarnished Badge.' Operation Tarnished Badge was a joint state and federal investigation of corrupt law enforcement officers in Robeson County, North Carolina. The investigation resulted in over twenty (20) federal convictions, including the conviction of former Robeson County Sheriff Glenn Maynor and nearly his entire command structure. See United States v. Maynor, 310 Fed.Appx. 595, 596-98 (4th Cir. 2009). Petitioner alleges officers of the Robeson County Sheriff's Department ‘fabricated' evidence and testified falsely against him in retaliation for Petitioner's refusal to ‘participate in a drug dealing scheme' with the officers . . .. He seeks relief on the basis of his allegedly tainted prosecution and conviction.”

Scott v. United States, 2011 WL 13128265 at *1 (E.D. N.C., Aug. 2, 2011). Petitioner has repeated many of those allegations in his pending Petition for Relief filed Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, and again alleges that officers from the Robeson County Sheriff's Department fabricated evidence and again testified falsely against him.

         As the R&R contains a full recitation of the petitioner's allegations in the instant petition, the same does not bear repeating here. Petitioner essentially contends that Federal agents and the prosecution team committed numerous Brady violations before, during, and after his trial which render him actually innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. Accordingly, he now seeks an order vacating his conviction and sentence and immediate release from confinement. In addition, petitioner requests that he be compensated for the unconstitutional deprivation of his liberty.

         II. Analysis

         In the R&R, Magistrate Judge Trumble recommends that this Court deny and dismiss the instant Petition [Doc. 1], as it contains identical issues to those decided by United States District Judge Irene M. Keeley in 1:16-cv-119. In his Objections to the R&R, petitioner “urges this [C]ourt to consider and entertain this application in the interests of justice, ” and contends that the issues in the instant petition, “have not been decided on the merits” [Doc. 10 at 2]. Petitioner does not otherwise provide an explanation for the exceedingly similar nature of the two petitions, nor does he detail how, or why, his prior petition was not dismissed on the merits.

         As noted in the R&R, pursuant to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) of 1996, 28 ...


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