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Eldridge v. Holland

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

May 30, 2014

TYREE AARON ELDRIDGE, Petitioner,
v.
J.C. HOLLAND, Warden of USP-McCreary, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DANNY C. REEVES, District Judge.

Tyree Aaron Eldridge ("Eldridge") is confined at the United States Penitentiary-McCreary ("USP-McCreary") in Pine Knot, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Eldridge has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, seeking to have the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") re-calculate his sentence. [Record No. 1] Specifically, he argues that he is entitled to additional sentencing credit according to a recommendation of the sentencing judge. [ Id. ] However, Eldridge is not entitled to any additional credit for time served on his federal sentence. As a result, his petition will be denied.

I.

On January 18, 2012, while in state custody, a federal grand jury in West Virginia returned an eight-count indictment against Eldridge for trafficking in cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) and (b). [ See United States v. Tyree Aaron Eldridge, Criminal Action No. 3: 12-CR-006 (N.D.W.V. 2012)] On March 27, 2012, Eldridge was transferred into federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. [ Id., at Record Nos. 6, 7, 8] He entered a written plea agreement on April 30, 2012. As part of this agreement, Eldridge pleaded guilty to Count 6 of the indictment. In exchange, the government agreed to dismiss the remaining Counts of the indictment. [ Id., at Record No. 31] Eldridge was subsequently sentenced to a 70-month term of imprisonment, to be served consecutively to any prior federal or state sentence, followed by a 3-year term of supervised release.[1] [ Id., at Record No. 42, p. 2] The district court also recommended that Eldridge receive credit on his sentence for time served since March 26, 2012. [ Id. ]

Consistent with the terms of his plea agreement, Eldridge did not appeal his conviction or sentence. However, in July, 2013, Eldridge filed an unsuccessful Informal Resolution Attempt with the BOP, seeking to receive additional credit on his sentence for time served beginning from when he was removed from state prison on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum (March 21, 2012). He has since exhausted his administrative remedies. On February 26, 2014, Eldridge filed his petition for habeas relief under § 2241. [Record No. 1]

II.

In conducting an initial review of habeas petitions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243, the Court must deny the relief sought "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)). Because Eldridge is not represented by an attorney, the Court evaluates his petition under a more lenient standard. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). Thus, at this stage of the proceedings, Eldridge's factual allegations are accepted as true and his legal claims are liberally construed in his favor.

Eldridge argues that he is entitled to credit against his federal sentence for time served in state custody. [Record No. 1] Additionally, he contends that because the district court recommended at his sentencing that he be given credit for time served beginning on March 26, 2012, the BOP's determination that his federal sentence did not commence until his release from his state sentence on April 8, 2013, was in error. [ Id. ] Eldridge's arguments, however, are without merit.

Calculation of a federal prisoner's sentence (including both its commencement date and any credits for custody before the sentence is imposed) is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585. This section provides:

(a)... A sentence to a term of imprisonment commences on the date the defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to, or arrives voluntarily to commence service of sentence at, the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served.
(b)... 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 ...

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