United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. TRUMBLE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
12, 2017, the pro se Petitioner filed a Petition for
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. ECF No.
Petitioner is a federal inmate housed at FCI Gilmer in the
Northern District of West Virginia and is challenging the
validity of his conviction imposed in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
(M.D.Pa.) case number 3:05-CR-493. This matter is pending
before the undersigned for an initial review and Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local
Rule of Prisoner Litigation Part 2.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Petitioner's Conviction and Pre-Sentencing Requests for
Relief Pursuant to § 2255
December 5, 2005, Petitioner was charged in the Middle
District of Pennsylvania at Scranton, in a criminal complaint
with a federal weapons offense. ECF No. 1. On December 20,
2005, a grand jury indicted Petitioner with two counts of
criminal activity. ECF No. 16. On October 3, 2006, a grand
jury returned a superseding indictment with charged
Petitioner with six counts of felony criminal activity: Count
1, Attempt to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist
Organization (Al-Qaeda); Count 2, Attempt to Provide Material
Support to be Used in Maliciously Damaging and Destroying an
Interstate Gas Pipeline by Means of Force or Explosive; Count
3, Solicitation of Others to Engage in a Felony Involving the
Damaging or Attempted Damaging of an Interstate Pipeline
Facility by Means of Force or Explosive; Count 4,
Distribution of Information Through the Internet Involving
the Manufacture and Use of an Explosive or Destructive Device
to be Used to Damage or Attempt to Damage an Interstate Gas
Pipeline Facility; Counts 5 and 6, Possession of an Explosive
Grenade not Properly Registered. ECF No. 80. Following a jury
trial, on July 13, 2007, Petitioner was found guilty of
counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the superseding indictment. ECF
Nos. 297, 249.
23, 2007, before being sentenced, Petitioner filed a
self-styled “appeal” on court-approved forms to
file a motion to vacate or set aside pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF No. 249. On July 31, 2007, the Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an order which stayed
Petitioner's appeal pending entry of the judgment. ECF
No. 257. On August 7, 2007, Petitioner filed another §
2255 motion which alleged two grounds for relief: (1) that
his conviction was obtained by use of a coerced confession;
and (2) that he was denied the right to due process. ECF No.
258. On August 15, 2007, the District Court entered an order
which dismissed the August 7, 2007 § 2255 motion to
vacate as premature. ECF No. 268.
November 6, 2007, the court sentenced Petitioner to a term of
imprisonment of 360 months. ECF No. 297.
Petitioner's Post-Sentencing Habeas Corpus Proceedings
filed Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the Middle District of
his sentencing, on November 15, 2007, Petitioner filed
another motion to vacate or set aside pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF No. 313. In that motion, Petitioner repeated
the same two grounds which he raised in his August 7, 2007
motion and added two additional grounds for relief: (1) that
he was denied effective assistance of counsel; and (2) that
the indictment against him was obtained by perjured testimony
presented to and fraud committed upon the grand jury.
Id. On November 26, 2007, the District Court
dismissed Petitioner's November 15, 2007 motion to vacate
on the ground that it was premature. ECF No. 318.
November 5, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2243, seeking his immediate
release, which motion alleged that search warrants issued
against him were invalid, trial testimony was either coached
or the result of perjury, and that his arrest was unlawful.
ECF No. 350. On November 30, 2009, Petitioner filed another
motion “for Emergency Habeas Release” pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2243. ECF No. 353. On December
7, 2009, Petitioner filed a third “Emergency
Release” motion pursuant to §§ 2241 and 2243.
ECF No. 354. On December 9, 2009, the District Court denied
Petitioner's motions filed on November 9, 2009, and
November 30, 2009, for lack of jurisdiction because the
matter was then pending before the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit. ECF No. 356.
March 18, 2010, in case number 07-3210, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed Petitioner's
conviction, appealed on July 23, 2007 in ECF No. 249. ECF No.
367, 371. In its opinion, the Third Circuit noted that
Petitioner filed 11 pro se motions over the course of one
month while the District Court appointed his third attorney,
and Petitioner later filed 23 pro se motions while
represented by court-appointed counsel. ECF No. 371-3 at 4.
Further, the Third Circuit addressed Petitioner's claims
that: (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his
conviction; (2) the “master” affidavit and
probable cause determination should have been suppressed by
the trial court; (3) there was perjured trial testimony; (4)
the government's prosecution of him was vindictive; and
(5) that his speedy trial rights were violated. In regard to
his claim that because he did not own a computer monitor, he
was incapable of sending an email before November 23, 2005,
the Court wrote:
The government proved that emails were sent from an email
address Reynolds controlled, under an alias that Reynolds
used, and were sent from Pennsylvania at a time that Reynolds
admits he was located in the Middle District. Whether they
were sent from Reynolds' personal computer or from some
other computer to which he had access, Reynolds'
assertion that his own computer had no monitor does not
render the government's evidence insufficient.
ECF No. 371-3 at 6. In regard to his claim that perjured
trial testimony was used to convict him, the Third Circuit
recognized that, “[w]hether a witness's testimony
is false, and the government's actual or imputed
knowledge thereof, are factual questions to be determined by
the District Court.” Id. at 8, citations
omitted. The Third Circuit further noted that Petitioner
failed to preserve that claim for appeal. Id.
Petitioner filed a motion in District Court for release from
custody under §§ 2241 and 2243 on July 7, 2010,
wherein he requested a “bail release hearing”.
ECF No. 381. The District Court denied this request noting
that “Petitioner not being on bail, [ ] it cannot be
enlarged.” ECF No. 388. By further order, on August 19,
2010, the District Court denied Petitioner's July 7, 2010
motion for release from custody, noting that he “would
be a danger to the community.” ECF No. 390.
October 21, 2010, Petitioner filed a self-styled
“Hazel-Atlas” motion alleging various facts,
including those raised in the instant habeas corpus
proceeding that the Standard Oil Company is no longer a going
concern and that he possessed “no computer monitor with
which to send emails”. ECF No. 391 at 2 - 3. Petitioner
then filed two additional Hazel-Atlas motions on November 15,
2010 and December 1, 2010. ECF Nos. 395, 398. On March 8,
2011, the District Court issued a memorandum and order which
denied Petitioner's three Hazel-Atlas motions [ECF Nos.
391, 395, 398], seven miscellaneous motions [ECF Nos. 403,
404, 406, 409, 411, 415, 420] and his motion for bail pending
appeal [ECF No. 412]. ECF No. 422.
January 24, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit denied Petitioner's appeal in case number
10-4676. ECF No. 408.
March 22, 2011, Petitioner filed another notice of appeal
with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
in case number 11-1839. ECF Nos. 426, 427. This notice of
appeal concerned the District Court's ruling on
Petitioner's Hazel-Atlas motions. ECF Nos. 426. On April
8, 2011, Petitioner filed another motion for relief which was
denied by order of the District Court, because Petitioner had
already appealed the matter to the Third Circuit. ECF Nos.
August 29, 2011, Petitioner filed another motion to vacate
pursuant to § 2255. ECF No. 440. In his motion
Petitioner alleged four grounds: (1) that the “search
warrant violation [was] not challenged”; (2)
“known perjury before [the] grand jury”; (3)
“fabrication of evidence”; and (4) “known
[judicial] witness tampering”. Id. On October
3, 2011, the District Court entered an order which advised
the Petitioner of limitations on his right to file a second
or successive petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, and which granted him leave to withdraw his most recent
petition without prejudice to his rights. ECF No. 442.
October 13, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit, in case number 11-1839, denied
Petitioner's appeal, and affirmed the District
Court's March 8, 2011 ruling which denied
Petitioner's three Hazel-Atlas motions. ECF Nos. 443,
446-1. In its opinion, the Third Circuit noted that:
Reynolds has accumulated three “strikes” under
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
He has filed some nineteen appeals and other proceedings in
this Court since 2007. . . . has filed over thirty motions
and other documents in the District Court and, since taking
this appeal, has filed over twenty motions and other
documents in this case. These filings are largely repetitive,
and many state no discernable basis for relief.
ECF No. 446-1 at 6. The court characterized Petitioner's
pleadings as, “difficult to follow, but he appears to
take issue with evidence concerning a live hand grenade, an
electronic match, his criminal history and a statement that
his mother gave to detectives.” Id. at 3.
February 16, 2012, Petitioner filed another notice of appeal
with the Third Circuit, which was docketed by that court as
case number 12-1401. ECF Nos. 464, 465. The appeal was
dismissed by Order entered April 24, 2012, for lack of
appellate jurisdiction because the District Court's order
on Petitioner's latest motion to vacate under § 2255
was still pending before the District Court and thus was not
final or appealable. ECF No. 473.
August 15, 2012, the District Court entered an order denying
Petitioner the relief he sought in his August 29, 2011 motion
to vacate filed pursuant to § 2255. ECF No. 479. In the
accompanying memorandum opinion, the District Court noted
that Petitioner's claims that perjured testimony was used
before the grand jury and at trial had already been
considered and denied, by the District Court and the Third
Circuit Court of Appeals.” ECF No. at 12. The District
Court further addressed Petitioner's claims that the
government solicited perjured testimony that one of
Petitioner's targets was the Standard Oil Company in
Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In a footnote, the District Court
Despite Petitioner's suggestion to the contrary, the
Standard Oil Company did not disappear after the Supreme
Court's decision that it be dissolved pursuant to the
Sherman Antitrust Act. See Standard Oil Co., 221 U.S. 1,
Rather, Standard Oil split into multiple companies, which
after years of growth, sales, dissolutions, and mergers
eventually became, inter alia, Mobil, Exxon, and Chevron. The
Perth Amboy plant, although idled a few months after
Petitioner's trial, is operated as a terminal. . . . this
Court finds that no willfully false statement was made.
ECF No. 478 at 18, N. 14. The District Court further found
that, “the specific locations of the oil facility and
the pipeline [targets] were not germane to Petitioner's
conviction.” Id. at 19. The District Court
also addressed Petitioner's claims, raised in his reply
brief [ECF No. 471, at 29, 35] that the court was without
jurisdiction and venue to impose sentence because Petitioner
did not own a computer monitor while in Pennsylvania. ECF No.
478 at 29. The District Court ruled, “Petitioner's
claim that he did not have a computer monitor is without
merit.” Id. Finally, in denying Petitioner a
certificate of appealability, the District Court found that,
“[t]he Third Circuit Court of Appeals previously
considered each of the claims addressed herein and denied
Petitioner's arguments.” Id. at 31.
April 30, 2012, Petitioner, while in federal custody at
FCI-Victorville, in Victorville, California, filed a petition
for a writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 in the Central
District of California, Western Division in 3:12-CV-1957. ECF
No. 489. Petitioner claimed that his convictions are
unconstitutional and that he is “actually
innocent.” Id. at 4. On July 31, 2012, the
District Court from the Central District of California,
Western Division entered a Report and Recommendation that the
matter should be transferred back to the Middle District of
Pennsylvania for disposition as a § 2255 petition.
Id. at 6. On October 3, 2012, the transferred case
was filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania as a motion
to vacate under § 2255. ECF No. 489. On November 15,
2012, a second motion in the transferred case from California
was filed as another motion to vacate under § 2255. ECF
No. 490. On November 28, 2012, the District Court entered an
order which denied Petitioner's motion to vacate [ECF No.
489], deemed Petitioner's second motion to vacate [ECF
No. 490] as a second or successive petition filed without
prior authorization, and determined there was no basis for
the issuance of a certificate of appealability. ECF No. 492.
before those cases were transferred to Pennsylvania,
Petitioner filed another appeal with the Third Circuit Court
of Appeals in case number 12-3580, on September 4, 2012. ECF
No. 484. On February 13, 2013, the Third Circuit Court of
Appeals entered an order which ...