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Shabazz v. Warden, Philadelphia Federal Detention Center

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 20, 2019

ALEEM SHABAZZ, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Philadelphia Federal Detention Center, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.[1]

          Aleem Shabazz. Pro Se Petitioner.

          Karen V. Sullivan, Deputy Attorney General of the Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before die Court is an Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by Petitioner Aleem Shabazz ("Petitioner")- (D.I. 1; D.I. 5) The State has filed an Answer in Opposition. (D.I. 8) For the reasons discussed, the Court will dismiss the Petition.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. State Criminal Cases

         On March 12, 2010, Petitioner was arrested in New Castle County, Delaware, in connection with a series of burglaries. Two separate criminal cases were opened in the Delaware Superior Court: No. 1001022220 and No. 1003005615. (D.I. 8 at 1) On March 29, 2010, a New Castle County grand jury charged Petitioner by indictment in No. 1001022220. Petitioner posted bail in both cases and was released in April 2010. On May 10, 2010, a New Castle County grand jury charged Petitioner by indictment in both cases, and case No. 1003005615 was consolidated into case No. 1001022220 (hereinafter referred to as "Consolidated Case A"). (D.I. 8 at 2)

         On June 14, 2010, Petitioner was arrested in connection with additional burglaries he committed while on pretrial release. On August 2, 2010, a New Castle County grand jury charged him with additional offenses (hereinafter referred to as "Case B"). (D.I. 8 at 2)

         On September 20, 2010, Petitioner entered a guilty plea in Consolidated Case A to three counts of second degree burglary, two counts of third degree burglary, and second degree conspiracy, in exchange for which the State agreed to enter a nolle prosequi on the balance of die indictment. (D.I. 8 at 2) A week later, on September 27, 2010, Petitioner entered a guilty plea in Case B to possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor criminal mischief. (Id.)

         On February 4, 2010, the Superior Court sentenced Petitioner in both cases (Consolidated Case A and Case B) to an aggregate of sixteen years at Level V incarceration, suspended after three years for two years at Level IV work release, suspended after nine months for one year and three months of Level III probation. Petitioner did not appeal or file any post-conviction motions. (D.I 8 at 2)

         In April 2014, Petitioner was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia while he was on Level III probation. (D.I. 1 at 1, 4) A violation of probation (VOP”) report was not filed in his two state criminal cases at that time. (Id.) Instead, a VOP supplemental report was docketed in Consolidated Case A on March 30, 2015 and in Case B on April 1, 2015. (D.L 8 at 2) The docket states: "According to P&P, report originally filed in August 2014, but never docketed or defendant scheduled. A supplemental report has been filed requesting a capias." (Id.) Petitioner was taken into custody on the capias, but then turned over to federal authorities. (D.I 8 at 2-3) When Petitioner filed the instant Petition, the Superior Court had not yet adjudicated the VOP in either case. However, it appears that the Superior Court found Petitioner in violation in both cases on October 26, 2017. See Shabazz v. State, 183 A.3d 1257 (Table), 2018 WL 1445710, at *1 (Del. Mar. 22, 2018). Petitioner appealed, but the Delaware Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on March 22, 2018 due to Petitioner's failure to file the appropriate forms and his failure to respond to the Delaware Supreme Court's notice to show cause. Id.

         B. Federal Criminal Case

         On April 28, 2015, Petitioner was indicted in this Court on six firearms related offenses. See United States v. Shabazz, Crim. No. 15-20-LPS D.I 1. On February 4, 2016, a federal jury convicted Petitioner of four of the six offenses on which he was tried, relating to straw purchases and unlawful possession of firearms. See Id. D.I 52, D.L 53. The parties disputed whether Petitioner's previous convictions under Delaware's second degree burglary statute constituted violent felonies subjecting him to a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) ("ACCA"). See Id. D.I 93 at 2-3. The parties submitted several rounds of briefs on the issue and the Court heard oral argument on the applicability of ACCA on April 6 and August 29, 2017. At the conclusion of the August 29, 2017 hearing, the Court ...


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