United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
HECTOR MADRIGAL, Reg. No. 58420-179, Petitioner,
WALTER WOODS, Respondent.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case is before the court on a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition
for writ of habeas corpus and “Memorandum of Law”
in support of this petition filed on June 6, 2018 by Hector
Madrigal, a federal inmate currently confined at the
Montgomery Federal Prison Camp. Docs. 1 &
Madrigal is incarcerated on concurrent sentences of 20 years
of imprisonment for drug trafficking offenses imposed upon
him by the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Texas on July 20, 2007. Doc. 1 at 1. Due to a
prior drug conviction, the court enhanced the sentencing
range for each of these convictions in accordance with the
provisions of 21 U.S.C. § 851. On August 2, 2018, the
respondent filed a motion to dismiss this case. Doc. 14.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND RELEVANT FACTS
concise procedural history and recitation of relevant facts
are set forth by the respondent in his motion
In January of 2006, in Case No. 5:06-CR-121-3 and Case No.
5:06-CR-122, Petitioner Hector Madrigal was indicted in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas for drug trafficking offenses. In June 2006, Petitioner
pleaded guilty in both cases to the charge of conspiracy to
possess with the intent to distribute a quantity in excess of
1, 000 kilograms of marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841 and 846. [Under the terms of his plea
agreements, Petitioner waived the right to collaterally
attack his sentences under both 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and 28
U.S.C. § 2255.] Because he had a prior felony drug
conviction, at sentencing Petitioner faced a minimum
mandatory term of imprisonment of ten years and a maximum
term of imprisonment of life for Case No. 5:06-CR-121-3, and
a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of twenty years and
a maximum term of imprisonment of life for Case No.
On July 20, 2007, the district court sentenced Petitioner to
twenty years imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised
release in each case, with the sentences to run concurrently.
Pursuant to his plea agreement[s], Petitioner did not appeal
the sentences imposed.
On July 15, 2019, in Case No. 5:06-CR-121.3, Petitioner
untimely filed a motion for relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, attacking his sentence based upon the assertion that
his prior state drug conviction was vacated. On July 23,
2010, the district court dismissed Petitioner's §
2255 motion and entered a final judgment. [On August 25,
2010, Petitioner sought reconsideration by the district court
of its dismissal of his § 2255 motion but the court
denied this request on August 31, 2010.] Petitioner sought a
certificate of appealability from the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to appeal the district
court's dismissal of his § 2255 motion and the court
denied his request.
On April 14, 2017, Petitioner was persistent and filed a
motion seeking to amend his § 2255 motion using the
relation back doctrine. The district court denied
On June 6, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant petition for
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Petitioner is presently incarcerated at the Montgomery
Federal Prison Camp.
Doc. 14 at 1-3 (citations to record and footnotes omitted).
CLAIMS AND ARGUMENTS
asserts factual innocence of his sentence enhancement under
21 U.S.C. § 851 due to a change of law-the new
interpretation of statutory law set forth in Descamps v.
United States, 570 U.S. 524 (2013) and Mathis v.
United States, 136 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). He maintains that
his “prior conviction may no longer qualify as a §
851 predicate [offense] under the proper application of the
‘modified categorical approach' as clarified in
Descamps [and applied in Mathis].”
Docs. 2 at 11 & 1 at 7 (arguing that in light of
Descamps and Mathis the “prior
conviction enhancement under 21 U.S.C. § 851 is null and
void”). Madrigal requests that his “sentence . .
. be vacated for resentencing without the § 851
enhancement.” Doc. 1 at 8. He seeks to invoke the
“saving clause” contained in 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e) as a basis for seeking relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 from the sentence imposed upon him by the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Doc. 2 at
10. Madrigal relies on case law of the Eleventh Circuit
issued prior to McCarthan v. Dir. of Goodwill
Indus.-Suncoast, Inc., 851 F.3d 1076, 1087 (11th Cir.
2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 502 (2017),
the law of other circuits as support for his argument that he
may proceed before this court on a 28 U.S.C. § 2241
petition for habeas relief pursuant to the saving clause of
28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Doc. 2 at 10-11.
August 2, 2018, the respondent filed a motion to dismiss
Madrigal's habeas petition. Doc. 14. In this motion, the
respondent asserts that “Petitioner's argument that
this Court has jurisdiction to hear his § 2241 petition
is foreclosed by McCarthan.” Doc. 14 at 4. The
court issued an order allowing Madrigal an opportunity to
file a response to the respondent's motion to dismiss,
Doc. 15, and Madrigal filed his response within the time
allowed by the court. Doc. 16.
response, Madrigal continues to argue that his “§
2241 Petition may proceed under the savings clause, pursuant
to retroactively applicable Supreme Court decision[s] in
Descamps . . . and Mathis.” Doc. 16
at 5. Madrigal argues that because he “was sentenced on
July 20, 2007, he could have not possibly raised his §
2241 claim at trial because Descamps and
Mathis were decided on June 20, 2013 and June 23,