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Crase v. Sepanek

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

October 10, 2013

TILDEN JAY CRASE, Petitioner,
v.
MICHAEL SEPANEK, WARDEN, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HENRY R. WILHOIT, Jr., District Judge.

Tilden Jay Crase is an inmate confined in the Federal Correctional Center located in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Crase has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the manner in which the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") has calculated his federal sentence. [D. E. No.1] Crase contends that the BOP erroneously refuses to credit his federal sentence with 273 days (approximately seven months) of prior custody credit.

The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau a/Prisons, 419 F.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). The Court must deny the petition "if it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to § 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates Crase's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). At this stage, the Court accepts Crase's factual allegations as true, and liberally construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Having reviewed the § 2241 petition, the Court must deny it because Crase has not set forth grounds entitling him to further credit on his federal sentences.

BACKGROUND

Crase has been convicted of federal drug offenses in both this Court and in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois ("the Southern District of Illinois"). On October 28, 2007, Crase was arrested and held without bond in connection with drug charges filed against him in this district. United States v. Crase, No. 6:07-CR-104-KKC-1 (E.D. Ky. 2007). On January 28, 2008, the United States filed a criminal Information against Crase and on that same day, he pleaded guilty to Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession with Intent to Distribute Oxycodone. United States v. Crase, No.6:08-CR-8-KKC-1 (E.D. Ky. 2008). [D. E. No.2, therein] On July 21, 2008, Crase was sentenced to a 48-month prison term on those charges. [D. E. No. 20, therein][1]

On September 18, 2008, Crase was transferred to Illinois, where he faced federal charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. United States v. Crase, No.3:07-CR-30182-WDS-PMF-2 (S.D. Ill. 2007) Crase pleaded guilty to those charges, and on February 23, 2009, he received a 135-month prison term which was ordered to run concurrently with his Kentucky sentence. [ Id., D. E. No. 137, therein] On February 24, 2010, the Illinois court granted the government's Rule 35 motion and reduced Crase's sentence to a total term of 90 months (seven and one-half years), also to run concurrently with his Kentucky sentence. [D. E. No. 183, therein]

In June 2012, Crase filed a series of motion in his Illinois case, asking that court to amend or correct its judgment and credit him with approximately 7 months of time (between July 17, 2008, and February 23, 2009) which he spent in federal custody while serving his Kentucky sentence, which predated the charges and conviction in his Illinois case. See Motions, [D. E. Nos. 187-189, therein]. Crase cited U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3 as the basis for his request for a 7-month sentence reduction.

On November 2, 2012, the Illinois court denied Crase's motions, stating:

The Court gave him [Crase] credit for the Kentucky conviction, including running the sentences concurrently and finding the defendant was eligible for safety valve sentencing. The Court did not at the time, and does not now, intend to give the defendant [Crase] credit for the time he served on the Kentucky conviction before being brought to this Court for the charges in the Southern District of Illinois.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES defendant's motions for credit for time served on all grounds raised.

[D. E. No. 193, p. 2, therein]

Crase then filed a motion seeking reconsideration of that ruling, which the Illinois court denied on January 30, 2013. [ Id., D. E. No. 195, therein] The court again explained that Crase was not entitled to the seven months' credit on his 90-month Illinois sentence. [ Id., p. 3] The court stated that Crase was:

... essentially, seeking double credit for the time after his sentence began running on the Kentucky federal charge through the time he was sentenced in this Court. The Bureau of Prisons appears to have already credited him with time served on the Kentucky sentence during the period ...

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