United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING AND ADOPTING
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE, OVERRULING
PETITIONER'S OBJECTIONS AND DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se petitioner, Antonio Steele, a federal
inmate designated to FCI Gilmer in Glenville, West Virginia,
filed a petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2241. ECF Nos. 1 and 16. In the petition, the petitioner
challenges the validity of his sentence from the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. ECF
No. 1 at 2; ECF No. 16 at 2. The petitioner contends that
Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (2019),
âmodifies the elements of the offense(s) that [he] was
convicted of to the point that the facts stipulated to in the
plea agreement no longer constitute a violation of federal
law.â ECF No. 1-1 at 5-6; ECF No. 16-1 at 5-6. For relief,
the petitioner requests that this Court âvacate [his]
conviction and discharge [him] from custody.â ECF No. 1 at 8;
ECF No. 16 at 8.
States Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone entered a report and
recommendation (ECF No. 22) and the petitioner timely filed
objections (ECF No. 24). In his objections, the petitioner
maintains that Rehaif provides a basis for this
Court to vacate his conviction and sentence. Id. at
1. The petitioner contends that the magistrate judge
misapplied In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333-34 (4th
Cir. 2000). Id. at 2-3. The petitioner also states
that the magistrate judge erroneously limited the
applicability of Rehaif to cases that went to trial.
Id. at 4.
reasons that follow, this Court finds that the report and
recommendation of the magistrate judge should be affirmed and
adopted in its entirety.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court must conduct a
de novo review of any portion of the magistrate
judge's recommendation to which an objection is timely
made. Because the petitioner filed objections to the report
and recommendation, the magistrate judge's recommendation
will be reviewed de novo as to those findings to
which the petitioner objected.
Court has conducted a de novo review of all portions
of the magistrate judge's report and recommendation. In
this case, for substantially the same reasons stated by the
magistrate judge, this Court finds that the petitioner is not
entitled to application of the savings clause under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, because the crime for which the petitioner was
convicted remains a criminal offense. See ECF No. 22
at 5. Therefore, the petitioner cannot satisfy the second
element of In re Jones, 226 F.3d at 333-34, namely
that subsequent to the prisoner's direct appeal and first
§ 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such that the
conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is deemed to not
be criminal. See Id. Specifically, Rehaif
does not apply in this civil action since unlike the facts in
Rehaif which occurred in the context of a jury
trial, here, the petitioner pleaded guilty to the relevant
charge. See id. at 6-7. “A knowing, voluntary,
and intelligent plea to an offense conclusively establishes
the elements of the offense and the material facts necessary
to support the conviction.” United States v.
Willis, 992 F.2d 489, 490 (4th Cir. 1993). As the
magistrate judge properly found, since the petitioner fails
to meet the requirements set out in In re Jones, and
is unable to satisfy the § 2255 savings clause to seek
relief under § 2241, the petitioner's petition (ECF
No. 1) must be denied and dismissed without prejudice for
lack of jurisdiction. See id. at 7. Accordingly,
this Court upholds the magistrate judge's recommendation
and overrules the petitioner's objections.
reasons discussed above, the report and recommendation of the
magistrate judge (ECF No. 22) is hereby AFFIRMED and ADOPTED
in its entirety and the petitioner's objections (ECF No.
24) are OVERRULED. The petitioner's petition for writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (ECF No. 1) is
DENIED and DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
further ORDERED that this case be DISMISSED and STRICKEN from
the active docket of this Court.
the petitioner choose to appeal the judgment of this Court to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on
the issues to which objection was made, he is ADVISED that he
must file a notice of appeal with the Clerk ...