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Armstrong v. Salinas

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

January 30, 2014

DERRICK A. ARMSTRONG, Petitioner,
v.
A.W. SALINAS, Acting Warden, [1], Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, District Judge.

Derrick A. Armstrong is an inmate confined by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") in the Federal Correctional Institution ("FCI")-Manchester located in Manchester, Kentucky. Armstrong has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the manner in which the BOP is executing his sentence. [R. 1] Armstrong seeks an order directing the BOP to transfer him to the custody of the Ohio Department of Corrections. [ Id. ] Armstrong has paid the $5.00 filing fee. [R. 2]

The Court must evaluate Armstrong's habeas petition to determine whether "it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that [he] is not entitled to relief." R. Governing § 2254 Cases 4 (applicable to Section 2241 cases through Rule 1(b)).[2] If it appears from the face of the § 2241 petition that relief is not warranted, the Court may summarily deny the petition. Blevins v. Lamanna, 23 F.Appx. 216, 218 (6th Cir. 2001); Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970).

The Court has reviewed the petition and determined that Armstrong has not alleged facts which would entitle him to relief under § 2241, and will therefore deny his habeas petition.

BACKGROUND

1. Armstrong's Federal and State Convictions

In February 2003, Armstrong was arrested in Montgomery County, Ohio, after a warrant-based search of his home led police to find drugs and a firearm. On February 28, 2003, Armstrong was indicted in the Common Pleas Court of Montgomery County, Ohio. See State of Ohio v. Derrick A. Armstrong, Case No. 2003 CR 00609/1 (available at http://www.clerk.co.montgomery.oh.us (last visited on January 28, 2014)). Armstrong was released from police custody on bond, but he eventually pled no contest to the resulting charges and was thus convicted of three state crimes: two counts of possession of cocaine, other than crack cocaine (25 grams but less than 100 grams), and one count of having a weapon while under a disability. [ Id. ] Before imposing the sentence, however, the trial judge gave the parties time to litigate the constitutional validity of the search warrant that led to Armstrong's arrest.

On September 18, 2003, before the parties had fully litigated the search warrant issues, and before Armstrong was sentenced in state court, state and federal officials arrested Armstrong and two other men on Ralliston Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, and charged them with various drug and firearm offenses. [R. 1-2, pp. 32-38] The next day, September 19, 2003, the state charges against Armstrong were dismissed, but Armstrong remained in jail because federal authorities had initiated criminal proceedings against him.

On September 22, 2003, the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") filed a complaint against Armstrong in federal court in Dayton, Ohio. United States v. Armstrong, No. 3:03-CR-126 (W.D. Ohio, 2003) [R. 1, therein] On that same date, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Armstrong. [R. 2, therein] On September 23, 2003, the Magistrate Judge conducted a preliminary and detention hearing and determined that the DEA had probable cause to believe that Armstrong had committed an offense. [R. 6, therein] The Magistrate Judge bound Armstrong over to the Grand Jury and remanded him to the custody of the United States Marshals. [ Id. ]. On October 14, 2003, while Armstrong was awaiting sentencing in the Common Pleas Court of Montgomery County on his state conviction (stemming from the February 2003 charges), he was formally indicted in the federal proceeding on various federal drug and firearm offenses stemming from his arrest on September 18, 2003. United States v. Armstrong, No. 3:03-CR-126 [R. 9, therein]

On April 22, 2004, while Armstrong was in federal custody, the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court sentenced him to five years of imprisonment for the drug conviction and a concurrent 10-month term for the weapon conviction in Case No. 2003-CR-609/1. See 4/22/04 "Termination Entry, " Case No. 2003-CR-609/1 (available at http://www.clerk.co.montgomery.oh.us); see also 4/21/06 Letter from Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney [R. 1-2, p. 2]. Armstrong's state sentence was affirmed on direct appeal. See State v. Armstrong, No. 20515, 2005 WL 994689 (Ohio Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2005).

On July 14, 2004, Armstrong pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1), and possessing cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana for intended distribution in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). United States v. Armstrong, No. 3:03-CR-126 [R. 36, therein] On October 8, 2004, the district court sentenced Armstrong to a 216-month prison term and a 5-year term of supervised release. [ Id., R. 39, therein][3] Armstrong appealed, but his sentence was affirmed. See United States v. Armstrong, No. 04-4362 (6th Cir. Sept. 13, 2005) (unpublished).

In April 2006, the State of Ohio filed a detainer for Armstrong with federal prison authorities. By letter dated May 13, 2009, the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office informed an official at FCI-Manchester that "... due to the prosecution of his federal charges, Mr. Armstrong was never transported to the Correctional Reception Center in Columbus, Ohio after being sentenced in the Montgomery County case. Therefore, the Ohio Bureau of Sentence Computation has no record of this conviction and has, to date, given him no credit for, any concurrent jail time served." [R. 1-2, p. 3] In that letter, the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office also asked the federal authorities to keep the detainer on file and to notify the State when Armstrong was available to begin serving his Ohio sentence. [ Id. ]

2. Armstrong's Prior § 2241 Petition

In July 2010, Armstrong filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in federal court in Ohio, alleging that the Ohio detainer violated his rights by delaying the expiration of his sentence, depriving him of early release eligibility regarding his federal sentence, and lengthening the duration of his federal confinement. United States v. Armstrong, No. 3:10-CV-275-TMR-SLO (S.D. Ohio, 2010) [R. 1, therein] Armstrong claimed that federal authorities denied him due process and abused their authority by denying an administrative transfer to the CRC for prompt calculation of his state sentence. [ Id. ] On October 19, 2010, the district court sua sponte denied the § 2241 petition and entered judgment in favor of the respondents. [R. 6 and 7, therein]

Armstrong appealed, arguing that his federal sentence should have run concurrently with his state sentence. The Sixth Circuit concluded that Armstrong's claims that the Ohio detainer violated his rights by delaying the expiration of his sentence, deprived him of early release eligibility regarding his federal sentence, and lengthened the duration of his federal confinement rested on the assumption that his state and federal sentences were to run concurrently with one another. Armstrong v. Hogsten, No. 10-4432, p. 2 (6th Cir. Feb. 29, 2012) [R. 1-2, p. 15] The Sixth Circuit observed that the written sentencing judgment did not mention Armstrong's state sentences, but that the federal sentencing transcript indicated that the district court intended to ...


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