United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEPHEN HYLES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Calvin Screws's Motion Under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence
by a Person in Federal Custody. Mot. Under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in
Federal Custody, ECF No. 64. For the reasons discussed below,
it is recommended that Screws be denied § 2255 relief,
an evidentiary hearing being denied, a Certificate of
Appealability be denied, and any motion to proceed in
forma pauperis on appeal be denied.
January 15, 2015, a grand jury returned a three-count
indictment against Screws. Indictment, ECF No. 1. Count One
charged Screws with possession with the intent to distribute
crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and
(b)(1)(C). Count Two was for possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). Count Three charged Screws with
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Indictment, ECF. No. 1.
January 20, 2015, the Court appointed the Federal Defenders
of Middle Georgia to represent Screws. Order Appointing
Counsel, ECF No. 4. Screws moved to suppress both the
physical evidence that was seized from him on the date of his
arrest and statements he made to law enforcement. Mot. to
Suppress Evid., ECF No. 24; Mot. to Suppress Custodial
Statements, ECF No. 25. Following a suppression hearing, the
Court denied both motions on November 3, 2015. Min. Sheet re.
Suppression Hr'g, ECF No. 33.
January 19, 2016, the Court allowed the Federal Defenders of
Middle Georgia to withdraw from the case because Screws had
retained counsel Michael Eddings. Notice of Appearance, ECF
No. 45; Mots. to Withdraw, ECF Nos. 47, 48; Order, ECF No.
pleaded guilty to Counts One and Two on February 24, 2016.
Change of Plea, ECF No. 53; Plea Agreement, ECF No. 54.
United States Probation Office (“Probation”)
prepared a Presentence Investigation Report
(“PSI”). PSI, ECF No. 58. Probation calculated
the guideline imprisonment range for Count One to be
thirty-three to forty-one months and “[w]ith respect to
Count Two, a sentence of at least [sixty] months, to be
imposed consecutively to Count One.” PSI at 17, ECF No.
17. On October 11, 2016, the Court sentenced Screws to
thirty-seven months for Count One and sixty months for Count
Two, to be served consecutive to Count One, for a total of
ninety-seven months' imprisonment. J. in a Criminal Case,
ECF. No. 60.
did not appeal. On October 19, 2017, he filed a Motion Under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct
Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody. Mot. Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a
Person in Federal Custody, ECF No. 64. Respondent filed a
response. United States' Resp. in Opp'n to Mot. to
Vacate Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, ECF No. 66.
stipulated to the following facts in the plea agreement:
On June 30, 2014, Officer Travis Contreras with the Columbus
Police Department was on routine patrol when two passing
vehicles alerted him to a blue truck following close behind
them. The officer observed the truck cross the double yellow
line, accelerate in front of the two vehicles and slam on its
brakes. The truck was followed to a housing complex in
Muscogee County, Columbus, GA, where the truck jumped a curb
and came to a stop. The driver (and sole occupant) exited the
truck and began running. He was observed carrying two grocery
The driver was apprehended after a brief foot chase and
identified as the Defendant, Calvin Screws. The grocery bags
were located several feet away. Inside them were located the
• 10 baggies containing 12.8 grams of suspected
• a loaded Springfield Armory, model XD-40 .40
caliber pistol, S/N XD522987;
• two pistol magazines;
• 21 rounds of .40 ammunition;
• a black digital scale;
The Defendant was Mirandized and gave a voluntary, recorded
statement to the officer. The Defendant stated the reason he
was observed driving erratically was that he was trying to
mess with his cousin who was driving in front of him, but who
didn't know it was him (Screws) tail-gating her. He was
asked why he had ditched the guns and drugs in an area where
children could find them. He stated that he knew it was wrong
and that he didn't want the children to find them, but
didn't want the officer to find them either. He stated he
purchased the gun on the street and didn't know if it was
stolen. When asked about the drugs, he said he was just
trying to make a little money and stressed that he sells only
to adults and not kids.
The pistol was examined by an expert with the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and
determined to have been manufactured outside GA. It
functioned as designed.
The suspected narcotics were tested by the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation with the following results: 2 of the 10 baggies
contained a total of 4.89 net grams of cocaine base while the
remaining 8 baggies had a net weight of 2.65 ...