from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 2:13-cr-20471-1-Mark A.
Goldsmith, District Judge.
N. Wise, FEDERAL DEFENDER OFFICE, Detroit, Michigan, for
Cralle, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Detroit,
Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: MOORE, COOK, and READLER, Circuit Judges.
Johnson moved to Michigan while on probation, violating the
terms of his release from a Florida prison. Florida officials
issued a warrant, but federal agents found and arrested
Johnson first. When they did, they prosecuted him for a
federal crime before turning him over to Florida authorities.
Johnson challenges the order of his prosecution, arguing that
the federal district court lacked jurisdiction to sentence
him because federal agents pursued him to execute a Florida
warrant on Florida's behalf. But because the federal
government and Florida could prioritize between them the
order of custody and service of sentence, we AFFIRM
2013, Florida officials had lost track of parolee Tremaine
Johnson and asked federal agents for help locating him.
Johnson had already completed a four-year sentence for a
Florida felony conviction but, because he remained on
probation, he needed permission to leave the state. So when
Florida officials learned that Johnson had moved to Michigan
without preclearance, they issued a fugitive warrant and
enlisted U.S. Marshals with the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension
Team to pursue him.
marshals tracked down and arrested Johnson at the Michigan
factory where he worked. As agents escorted him out, Johnson
alerted them to a firearm stowed in his car. Agents seized
the gun and, hours later, charged him with felonious
possession, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). A
jury convicted Johnson and we affirmed his conviction but
twice vacated his sentence, remanding most recently for the
district court to explain the conditions of Johnson's
supervised release. United States v. Johnson, 803
F.3d 279 (6th Cir. 2015); United States v. Johnson,
No. 16-1102 (6th Cir. Feb. 13, 2017) (order).
eve of his third sentencing, Johnson filed a motion
contesting the federal district court's jurisdiction to
convict or sentence him. The way Johnson figured it, the
federal agents pursuing him on a Florida warrant ought to
have extradited him to the custody of that state first. The
district court denied that motion, satisfied that the federal
government properly exercised jurisdiction, given that
Florida raised no objection to the government proceeding
first with its case. Even had Florida objected, the court
reasoned, a flaw in the sequence of prosecution would not
deprive the federal court of jurisdiction to proceed. The
court then reinstated Johnson's two-year supervised
release term. This appeal followed.
review de novo the district court's jurisdiction
conclusion. United States v. Graves, 60 F.3d 1183,
1185 (6th Cir. 1995).
initial matter, we must first ensure that Johnson has Article
III standing to object to the federal court's
jurisdiction. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 95 (1998). We conclude that he
does. Johnson fashions his challenge as a matter of
"primary jurisdiction," which "refers to the
determination of priority of custody and service of sentence
between state and federal sovereigns." Taylor v.
Reno, 164 F.3d 440, 444 n.1 (9th Cir. 1998). Despite its
name, primary jurisdiction does not affect the district
court's jurisdiction over a criminal defendant; it merely
determines the order of trial, sentencing, and incarceration.
Id. Primary jurisdiction "is a matter of comity
to be resolved by the ...