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United States v. Bonneau

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

February 11, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
RYAN FRANK BONNEAU, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL W. MOSMAN CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Mr. Bonneau is a prisoner who pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. Mr. Bonneau now moves to vacate or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the reasons discussed below, I DENY Mr. Bonneau's Motion to Vacate or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [116].

         DISCUSSION

         Mr. Bonneau asserts four claims for relief. He alleges that (1) the judgment and commitment order does not match the oral pronouncement and fails to contain the correct language to effect the oral sentence imposed, (2) the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is not executing the sentence as it was pronounced, (3) trial counsel was ineffective for not ensuring that the judgment contained the language necessary to effect a sentence of home confinement, and (4) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file two motions: a motion to suppress and a motion to dismiss the indictment on a charge that was ultimately dismissed pursuant to his plea agreement.

         A. First and Second Claims for Relief: Execution of the Sentence

         A prisoner can claim relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on only four grounds: that (1) the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, (2) the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, (3) the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).

While the statutory language is rather general, the Supreme Court has narrowly confined the scope and availability of collateral attack for claims that do not allege constitutional or jurisdictional errors. Such claims are properly brought under § 2255 only if the claimed error is "a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice" or "an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure." The error must "present exceptional circumstances where the need for the remedy afforded by the writ of habeas corpus is apparent."

Knight v. United States, 37 F.3d 769, 772 (1st Cir. 1994) (citations omitted) (quoting Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 428 (1962)).

         Mr. Bonneau's first and second claims do not allege constitutional or jurisdictional errors. Nor does his sentence exceed the maximum authorized by law: the statute under which Mr. Bonneau pleaded requires a two-year term of imprisonment, which is the length of his sentence. 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1).

         Mi-. Bonneau does not challenge the length of his sentence, but rather how much of his two-year sentence he may serve in home detention. The Sentencing Guidelines permit home detention "as a condition of probation or supervised release, but only as a substitute for imprisonment." U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 5F1.2 (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2018). The statute under which Mr. Bonneau pleaded does not permit a sentence of probation. 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(b)(1). Separate from the Guidelines, the BOP has the authority to place a prisoner in home confinement for the last ten percent of a sentence or six months, whichever is shorter. 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(2). In this case, the statute permits the BOP to place Mr. Bonneau in home confinement for a maximum of 2.4 months.

         Mr. Bonneau's argument that Sentencing Guideline § 5C1.1(e)(3) authorizes a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 1028A in which ten months are served in home confinement ignores the way the schedule of substitute punishments is applied to sentences. The punishments in § 5C 1.1(e) may be substituted for imprisonment to satisfy the minimum term for guideline ranges in Zones A and B. See U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 5C 1.1(c), (d) (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2018). Mr. Bonneau was sentenced according to the requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, not according to the Guidelines. Even if he were sentenced under the Guidelines, the punishments in § 5C 1.1(e) may only be substituted for a sentence of probation or a term supervised release. Id. Mr. Bonneau's two-year term of imprisonment is not eligible for a substitute punishment. Because Mr. Bonneau's sentence is being served as prescribed by statute, I do not find that the BOP's execution of the sentence amounts to "a complete miscarriage of justice" or "an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure." Knight, 37 F.3d at 772. The BOP's execution of his sentence is not, therefore, "otherwise subject to collateral attack" in a § 2255 motion.

         Mr. Bonneau's first and second claims do not advance a theory for relief that is permitted under § 2255. Therefore, I deny his Motion to Vacate or Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [116] on Claims One and Two.

         B. Third and Fourth Claims for Relief: Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel

         Mr. Bonneau claims that his trial counsel was ineffective in two ways. First, in Claim Three, he states that his trial counsel should have ensured that language was included in the judgment that would permit him to serve ten months of his sentence in home confinement. Second, in Claim Four, he argues that his trial counsel should have filed two motions: a motion to suppress evidence and ...


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