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Gibson v. Barnhart

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

October 23, 2018

JOBOYD UNDRE GIBSON, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN J.A. BARNHART, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          Gregory F. Van Tatenhove United States District Judge.

         Petitioner Joboyd Undre Gibson is an inmate currently confined at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI)-Manchester, located in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Mr. Gibson filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the calculation of his prior custody credits by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). [R. 1.] This matter is before the Court to conduct the screening required by 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011).

         A petition will be denied “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 Mr. Gibson's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). At this stage of the proceedings, the Court accepts the petitioner's factual allegations as true and liberally construes all legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

         According to Mr. Gibson, he was arrested on June 2, 1997 in Winston County, Mississippi, in Case # 6222/1 for possession of marijuana. [R. 1-1 at 2.] While he was released on bond prior to sentencing in that case, he was arrested again by Mississippi law enforcement officers on January 22, 1998, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Case # 98-026-CR1. Id. During this arrest, officers found a number of firearms that later formed the basis for Gibson's subsequent federal charges. Id. On April 27, 1998, Mr. Gibson was sentenced to a two-year term of imprisonment in No. 6222/1. Id. On September 1, 1998, while he was serving his two-year sentence, he was sentenced in Lowndes County Circuit Court, Case # 98-026-CR1, to a term of imprisonment of six years without parole or probation. Id. After sentencing in both cases, Mr. Gibson was returned to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Id. at 3.

         On December 11, 1998, while serving his state sentences, Mr. Gibson was charged in an indictment issued by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi with one count of being a convicted felon who knowingly conspired to make false statements to unlawfully acquire firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a), (g) and 924 (a) (Count 1); knowingly disposing of a loaded firearm to a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) (Count 2); being a convicted felon knowingly in possession of a loaded firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (Counts 3 and 6); knowingly making false written statements to purchase firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C.§§ 922(a) and 924 (Count 4); and knowingly disposing of firearms to a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) (Counts 5 and 7). [United States v. Gibson, No. 1:98-cr-120-NBB-DAS-1 (N. D. Miss. 1998), R. 1.]

         During his federal criminal proceedings, he remained in the primary custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, appearing in federal court pursuant to various writs of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. [Id., R. 24, R. 29, R. 36, R. 39, R. 49.] On September 16, 1999, after pleading guilty to Counts 1 and 6 pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States, Gibson was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 60 months on Count 1 and 120 months on Count 6, to be served consecutively to each other and to Mr. Gibson's imprisonment under any previous state or federal sentence. [Id., R. 54.] After sentencing, Mr. Gibson was returned to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. [Id., R. 56.]

         While serving his state sentence, Mr. Gibson was charged with possession of a controlled substance within a correctional facility in Case # 2000 33CR/2 and conspiracy in Case # 2000 33CR/3. [R. 1-1 at 2.] Accordingly, on May 16, 2000, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of seven years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Id. On January 18, 2013, Mr. Gibson completed his state sentences and was released to federal authorities to commence his federal sentence. Id.

         Mr. Gibson's has previously sought relief from his consecutive federal sentence in the federal sentencing court and been denied, first in a motion for reconsideration of the judgment [United States v. Gibson, No. 1:98-cr-120-NBB-DAS, R. 57], and then via various motions seeking his federal sentence run concurrently with his state sentence. [Id., R. 59-R. 64.] In its December 18, 2013 Order denying Mr. Gibson relief, the sentencing court noted that circumstances had not changed since the time it originally imposed Mr. Gibson's sentence, at which time “the court exercised its discretion and determined that the 180-month sentence should be served consecutive to Gibson's state sentence.” [Id., R. 66 at 4.]

         Mr. Gibson now seeks relief in this court, challenging the BOP's calculation of the commencement date of his federal sentence. [R. 1.] According to Mr. Gibson, the BOP prepared a sentence computation commencing Gibson's sentence on January 18, 2013, for a term of 180 months with no prior custody credit. Id. Mr. Gibson argues that this is incorrect. Mr. Gibson states after he was arrested by state officials for possession of marijuana on June 2, 1997 in Case # 6222/1, he was released on bond. [R. 1-1 at 2.] While he was on bond, but before he had been sentenced with respect to his 1997 arrest, he “was then rearrested on January 22, 1998, by law enforcement officers with the State of Mississippi for Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Case #98-026-CR1.” Id. It was during the January 22, 1998 arrest that the firearms were found that later led to his federal charges for which he was indicted in December 1998. However, according to Mr. Gibson, by releasing him on bond in 1997, the state officials relinquished custody of him, thus federal officials had primary custody of him upon his arrest on January 22, 1998. Id. at 1. Thus, Mr. Gibson seeks prior custody credit for the time he has served since January 22, 1998, the date that he claims his federal sentence actually commenced. Id. In effect, this relief would provide Mr. Gibson with the concurrent federal sentence he has previously been denied by the sentencing court.

         However, the Court will deny Mr. Gibson's petition as entirely 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 determined 18 U.S.C. § 3585, which provides as follows:

(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 which the sentence was imposed; that has not been ...

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