Vazquez v. USA, No. 3:2016cv02176 - Document 11 (D.P.R. 2022)

Court Description: OPINION AND ORDER. Petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion (ECF No. 1) is DENIED. The motions at ECF Nos. 4 and 5 are accordingly noted and moot. The Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment accordingly. Signed by Judge Aida M. Delgado-Colon on 9/15/2022.(wm)
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Vazquez v. USA Doc. 11 Case 3:16-cv-02176-ADC Document 11 Filed 09/15/22 Page 1 of 2 THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO XAVIER JOEL VAZQUEZ, Petitioner, Civ. No. 16-2176 (ADC) v. [Related to Crim. No. 14-230 (ADC)] UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. OPINION AND ORDER Before the Court is petitioner Xavier Joel Vazquez’s (“petitioner”) motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 1. For the following reasons, petitioner’s motion to vacate is DENIED. In 2014, petitioner plead guilty to aiding and abetting a carjacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2119 and 2, and to brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). In 2016, petitioner moved to vacate part of his sentence, arguing that his § 924(c) conviction was unconstitutional in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). ECF No. 1. In a nutshell, petitioner opined that aiding and abetting a carjacking cannot be a crime of violence. Id; see also ECF No. 5. This case was stayed pending the adjudication of Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018). ECF No. 6. After Dimaya’s adjudication, petitioner briefed the Court as to how the relevant case law had evolved during the pendency of the stay. ECF No. 9. Specifically, petitioner noted that the First Circuit Court of Appeals held in United States v. Cruz-Rivera that § 2119 carjacking Dockets.Justia.com Case 3:16-cv-02176-ADC Document 11 Filed 09/15/22 Page 2 of 2 Civil No. 16-2176 (ADC) Page 2 provision constitutes a crime of violence under § 924(c)’s force clause and pursuant to the holding in United States v. García-Ortiz that aiding and abetting a crime of violence, constitutes a crime of violence. 904 F.3d 63, 66 (1st Cir. 2018); 904 F.3d 102, 109 (1st Cir. 2018), cert. denied, 139 S. Ct. 1208 (2019). Thus, petitioner recognized that his § 2255 claims had been foreclosed by binding precedent. ECF No. 9 at 2. The Court agrees. Petitioner’s 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion (ECF No. 1) is therefore DENIED. The motions at ECF Nos. 4 and 5 are accordingly noted and moot. The Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment accordingly. SO ORDERED. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, on this 15th day of September, 2022. S/AIDA M. DELGADO-COLÓN United States District Judge