United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Record Document 43)
filed by the Petitioner, Jamal Holland
(“Holland”). Holland seeks to have his sentence
corrected on the following grounds: (1) that the Court
violated Holland's due process right in failing to
provide notice of how the Court determined the upward
variance in his sentence and; (2) that counsel was
ineffective in not objecting to the Court's failure to
note how it determined the upward variance in Holland's
sentencing. For the reasons set forth in the instant
Memorandum Ruling, Holland's Section 2255 Motion is
following facts are taken from the presentence report
(“PSR”). See Record Document 25 at 3-4,
PSR. On July 13, 2013, a confidential informant met with
special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
and Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office investigators. The
informant identified Holland as a multi-ounce to pound
quantity methamphetamine distributor in the Many, Louisiana
September 18, 2013, the informant arranged a transaction, via
telephone, with Holland that was to take place in Many. The
transaction occurred at Holland's residence. After the
transaction, the informant submitted the suspected narcotics
to the DEA agents. The narcotics were sent to the DEA lab and
tested positive for methamphetamine, with a net weight of 27
October 3, 2013, a second transaction was arranged through a
series of text messages between the informant and Holland.
The transaction was captured on video which also showed
Holland weighing out the methamphetamine and counting the
prerecorded DEA money. After the transaction, the informant
submitted the suspected narcotics to the DEA agents. The
narcotics were sent to the DEA lab and tested positive for
methamphetamine, with a net weight of 27 grams.
drugs recovered from the informant were forwarded to the
DEA's lab for confirmation. The results revealed the
methamphetamine purchased September 18, 2013, yielded 21.5
grams of pure methamphetamine; and the methamphetamine
purchased on October 3, 2013, yielded 17.9 grams of pure
methamphetamine, which totaled 39.4 grams of pure
methamphetamine or methamphetamine (actual).
Holland was charged by the federal grand jury for the Western
District of Louisiana with two counts of distribution of
methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
See Record Document 1, Indictment. He pleaded guilty
to Count 1. See Record Document 21 and 23, Minutes
of Change of Plea Hearing and Plea Agreement. A PSR was
ordered. See Record Document 21, Minutes of Change
of Plea Hearing.
on the quantity of actual methamphetamine, Holland had a base
offense level of 28. See Record Document 25 at 4. He
then received a three-level reduction for acceptance of
responsibility for a total offense level of 25. See
id. at 5. In the section entitled “Offense
Behavior Not Part of Relevant Conduct, ” the PSR
explained that, when Holland was arrested, officers searched
his home and found marijuana, Xanax, Lortab, and an
additional quantity of methamphetamine. See id.
he was only 28-years old, Holland had an extensive criminal
history that placed him in criminal history category VI.
See id. at 2, 9. Holland received no points for his
first conviction, possession of a Schedule I controlled
substance. See id. at 6. For that crime, he was
sentenced to six months of supervised probation, which he
failed to satisfactorily complete; his probation was revoked
and he was sentenced to six months of incarceration. See
id. Less than two years after his first conviction,
Holland was arrested for possession of a Schedule I
controlled substance. See id. He pleaded guilty, was
sentenced to probation, had his probation revoked, and was
sentenced to serve two years at hard labor. See id.
He received three points for this conviction. See
than three months after the preceding arrest, Holland was
again arrested for possession of a Schedule I controlled
substance (second offense). See id. at 7 He was
convicted and sentenced to serve four years of supervised
probation. See id. His probation was eventually
revoked, and he was sentenced to five years at hard labor.
See id. Holland received three more criminal history
points for this offense. See id.
than six months after the preceding conviction, Holland was
arrested for distribution of a Schedule II controlled
substance. See id. He was convicted and sentenced to
seven years at hard labor. He received three criminal history
points for this conviction. See id.
received two more criminal history points for his conviction
for reckless operation and flight from an officer. See
id. at 8. He failed to stop after officers activated
their lights and sirens, attempted to evade officers during
the vehicle pursuit, and fled from officers on foot once he
stopped his vehicle. See id.
than one year later, Holland was arrested for possession of a
Schedule I controlled substance (first offense). See
id. at 8. He pleaded guilty and received two ...