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United States v. Mays

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

September 18, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MELVIN LEE MAYS Civil Action No. 14-1477

          HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Record Document 101) filed by Petitioner Melvin Lee Mays. Mays alleges that (1) there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he sold cocaine and thereby that the past offenses should be viewed as non-violent; (2) he did not receive the Government’s notice regarding the Section 851 enhancement; and (3) mere possession is insufficient for a legal conviction for using a firearm in connection with a drug offense under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). See id. at 4-5, 7.[1] The Government answered Mays’ Section 2255 motion on September 27, 2014. See Record Document 111. For the reasons set forth below, Mays’ Section 2255 motion (Record Document 101) is DENIED as untimely.

         BACKGROUND

         A search warrant was obtained for a residence from which Mays had sold “crack cocaine” to undercover police officers. See Record Document 77 at 3. During this search the police officers found and seized powder cocaine, cocaine base, firearms, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, three digital scales, and a measuring cup in a duffel bag identified as belonging to Mays. See id. Mays was arrested. See id.

         On November 18, 2004, a federal grand jury returned a six-count Indictment against Mays charging him with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base (Count One); possession with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride (Count Two); possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime (Count Three); possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count Four); possession of body armor (Count Five); and forfeiture (Count Six). See Record Document 1. On February 1, 2005, the Government filed an “Information and Notice of Prior Narcotics Convictions Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851.” See Record Document 25.

         On March 10, 2005, a jury found Mays guilty as charged. See Record Document 46. On July 21, 2005, Mays was sentenced to life imprisonment. See Record Documents 60 & 61.

         On October 26, 2006, the judgment of the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit affirming Mays’ sentence and conviction was entered into the district court record. See Record Document 77. On February 7, 2007, the United States Supreme Court denied Mays’ petition for writ of certiorari. See Record Document 78. On August 1, 2012, this Court denied a motion to reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). See Record Documents 99-100.[2]

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255(f) provides:

A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to a motion under this section. The limitation period shall run from the latest of–
(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes final;
(2) the date on which the impediment to making a motion created by governmental action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion by such governmental action;
(3) the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively ...

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