United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
TIMOTHY J. CORRIGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court on Petitioner Eric Jonelle
Cochran's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate,
Set Aside, or Correct Sentence (Civ. Doc. 1, § 2255
Motion) and Supporting Memorandum (Civ. Doc. 2,
Memorandum). The United States has responded in
opposition, arguing that the § 2255 Motion is both
untimely and meritless. (Civ. Doc. 6, Response). Petitioner
did not file a reply. Accordingly, the case is ripe for a
Rule 8(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings,
the Court has determined that an evidentiary hearing is not
necessary to decide the motion. See Rosin v. United
States, 786 F.3d 873, 877 (11th Cir. 2015) (an
evidentiary hearing on a § 2255 motion is not required
when the petitioner asserts allegations that are
affirmatively contradicted by the record or patently
frivolous, or if in assuming that the facts he alleges are
true, he still would not be entitled to any relief). For the
reasons below, Petitioner's § 2255 Motion is due to
be dismissed as untimely.
February 6, 2008, a grand jury charged Petitioner with one
count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and 924(e). (Crim.
Doc. 1, Indictment). Petitioner pled not guilty and proceeded
to trial. (See Crim. Doc. 49, Trial Tr. Vol. I;
Crim. Doc. 50, Trial Tr. Vol. II). Following a two-day jury
trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict. (Crim. Doc. 41,
sentencing, the Court determined that Petitioner qualified to
be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) based
on prior convictions for (1) burglary, (2) the sale,
manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to sell,
manufacture, or deliver cocaine within 1, 000 feet of a
convenience business, and (3) the sale or delivery of
cocaine. (Crim. Doc. 48, Sentencing Tr. at 3-10). Petitioner
did not object to the ACCA enhancement or the validity of the
prior convictions. (Id. at 3, 8, 9). After considering
the factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the Court
sentenced Petitioner to the ACCA's mandatory minimum term
of 180 months in prison. (Id. at 26; Crim. Doc. 45,
appealed his conviction, arguing that the Court erred in
denying a motion for judgment of acquittal because there was
insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict. United
States v. Cochran, 329 Fed.Appx. 244, 245 (11th Cir.
2009). Specifically, Petitioner
argue[d] that the jury was “confronted with equally
persuasive theories of guilt and innocence” and that a
rational trier of fact could not have found guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt because “the government's case
rested on the testimony of a singular officer, ”
“another person was present at the scene where the gun
was recovered, ” and Cochran's fingerprints were
not on the gun or the bullets found by the arresting officer.
Id. The Eleventh Circuit rejected each of these
arguments, concluding that there was sufficient evidence for
the jury to find Petitioner guilty. Id. at 245-46.
Thus, the court affirmed Petitioner's conviction and
then sought certiorari review from the Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court denied certiorari review on
October 13, 2009. Cochran v. United States,
558 U.S. 959, 130 S.Ct. 426, 175 L.Ed.2d 292 (2009).
Petitioner's conviction certiorari….”).
Petitioner did not file the instant § 2255 Motion until
more than seven years later.
Petitioner's § 2255 Motion
raises three grounds for relief in his § 2255 Motion,
each alleging the ineffective assistance of counsel. In
Ground One, Petitioner claims that counsel gave ineffective
assistance by failing to move to suppress evidence and to
dismiss the indictment based on a defective probable cause
affidavit. (Civ. Doc. 1 at 4; Civ. Doc. 2 at 5-8).
Specifically, Petitioner claims that the police officer who
arrested him committed a Franks
violation by omitting facts from the arrest
affidavit about whether his informants - a fellow officer who
performed lookout duties and elderly residents of an assisted
living facility who complained about drug activity - provided
sufficiently reliable information to support the arrest.
Petitioner also disputes the arresting officer's
statement in the arrest affidavit that he recovered drugs and
a firearm from Petitioner. In Ground Two, Petitioner claims
that counsel gave ineffective assistance by failing to object
to the ACCA enhancement on the ground that his prior drug
convictions did not meet the ACCA's definition of a
serious drug offense. (Civ. Doc. 1 at 5; Civ. Doc. 2 at
9-10). In Ground Three, Petitioner claims that
counsel gave ineffective assistance at sentencing by failing
to contest whether his prior convictions counted separately
under U.S.S.G. §§ 4A1.2 and 4B1.2 and the ACCA.
(Civ. Doc. 1 at 6-7; Civ. Doc. 2 at 10-11). Regarding the
statute of limitations, Petitioner contends that the actual
innocence exception and § 2255(e)'s saving clause
relieve him from the time bar. (Civ. Doc. 1 at 11; Civ. Doc.
2 at 2-4).
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA),
there is a one-year statute of limitations for a federal
prisoner to file a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
sentence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f). ...