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Dickens v. Stewart

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 4, 2014

BRIAN DICKENS, #XXXXX-XXX
v.
TIMOTHY STEWART

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, District Judge.

Petitioner Brian Dickens, a self-represented federal inmate, commenced this action on March 14, 2013, by filing a motion for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, seeking credit on his federal sentence for time served in state custody from December 2, 2005, to December 1, 2006. (ECF No. 1). Instead of simply responding to the petition, Respondent Timothy Stewart, Warden of FCI Cumberland, filed a consolidated opposition and motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, attaching verified exhibits in support. (ECF No. 4). Petitioner opposed that motion (ECF No. 8) and Respondent filed a reply (ECF No. 31). The relevant issues have been briefed and the court now rules pursuant to Local Rule 105.6, no hearing being deemed necessary. For the reasons the follow, the petition will be denied.[1]

I. Background

Petitioner, a federal inmate presently housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, challenges the calculation of his sentence by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). Specifically, he contends that the BOP improperly denied him prior custody credit for time he spent in jail in Camden, New Jersey, from December 2, 2005, to December 1, 2006. As relief, he asks that this time be credited against his federal sentence. Respondent argues that Petitioner's sentence has been computed properly and that granting the relief he seeks would constitute an impermissible double counting of credits.

On April 26, 2005, Petitioner was arrested by police in Camden, New Jersey, for possession of controlled substances, i.e., cocaine base. (ECF Nos. 4-2 ¶ 3 (Ex. 1 ¶ 3); 4-4 (Ex. 1, Attach. 2)).[2] On April 28, 2005, he was released on bail. Id. On November 28, 2005, a federal agent swore out a criminal complaint charging Petitioner with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine between August 24 and October 10, 2005. (ECF Nos. 4-13 (Ex. 2); 13-2(Ex. 6)). The complaint was placed under seal. On December 2, 2005, Petitioner was again arrested by Camden police, this time for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. (ECF Nos. 4-2 ¶ 3 (Ex. 1 ¶ 3); 4-4, at 4 (Ex. 1, Attach. 2, at 4)). New Jersey correctional records demonstrate that Petitioner was committed to the Camden County Jail on the same date (ECF No. 4-4, at 5 (Ex. 1, Attach. 2, at 5)) and New Jersey court records show that his arrest by state authorities took place on December 2, 2005 (ECF No. 4-8, at 2 (Ex. 1, Attach. 6, at 2)).

On January 31, 2006, Petitioner made an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio, having been brought to federal court on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. (ECF No. 13-4 (Ex. 4)).[3] An order of detention was entered and a preliminary exam was set for February 10, 2006, but, on February 8, a grand jury sitting in the District of New Jersey returned an indictment charging Petitioner with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base on or about September 19, 2005. (ECF No. 4-14 (Ex. 3)). New Jersey state authorities again permitted federal officers to "borrow" Petitioner pursuant to writs of habeas corpus ad prosequendum on February 14 (for arraignment), May 26 (plea), and December 1, 2006 (sentencing) related to the pending federal charges. (ECF Nos. 4-2 ¶ 4 (Ex. 1 ¶ 4); 4-15 (Ex. 4)).

On May 26, 2006, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Petitioner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine on September 19, 2005. On December 1, 2006, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 168 months to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. (ECF Nos. 4-2 ¶ 4 (Ex. 1 ¶ 4); 4-6, at 6 (Ex. 1, Attach. 4, at 6)).

Petitioner entered guilty pleas in state court on January 12, 2007, and was sentenced, on March 2, 2007, to a term of imprisonment of thirteen years to run concurrently with his federal sentence. (ECF Nos. 4-2 ¶ 6 (Ex. 1 ¶ 6); 4-8 (Ex. 1, Attach. 6)). Significantly, for present purposes, the state court awarded 454 days of pre-trial custody credit to Petitioner against his state sentence for the time period from December 3, 2005, [4] to March 1, 2007. ( Id. ).

II. Analysis

Authority to calculate a federal prisoner's period of incarceration for the sentence imposed and to provide credit for time served is delegated to the Attorney General and is exercised through the BOP. See United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334-35 (1992). A federal sentence to a term of imprisonment begins "on the date the defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to... the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served." 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a). Prior custody credit is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), which provides:

A defendant shall be given credit toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences -
(1) as a result of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; or
(2) as a result of any other charge for which the defendant was arrested after the commission of the offense for which the sentence was imposed;
that has not been credited against another sentence. 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) (emphasis added); see also Wilson, 503 U.S. at 337 ("Congress made clear that a defendant could not receive a double credit for his detention time"); United States v. Brown, 977 F.2d 574, 1992 WL 237275 (4th Cir. 1992) (Table) (holding that a defendant may not receive credit against ...

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