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Vega v. Flournoy

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division

July 12, 2019

ANTHONY VEGA, JR., Petitioner,
v.
J.V. FLOURNOY, Respondent.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner Anthony Vega (“Vega”), who is currently incarcerated at FCC Forrest City Medium in Forrest City, Arkansas, filed a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus while he was housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia. Doc. 1. Respondent filed a Response, and Vega filed a Traverse. Docs. 7, 8. For the reasons which follow, I RECOMMEND the Court DENY Vega's Petition, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate judgment of dismissal, and DENY Vega in forma pauperis status on appeal.

         BACKGROUND

         Vega was arrested and charged in the State of Michigan with violation of probation in May 2010. Doc. 1-1 at 2. Vega was later indicted on federal charges for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. On November 24, 2010, a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum was issued. Id. Vega was arraigned on the federal charges on December 8, 2010 and was sentenced on these charges on February 7, 2012 to 151 months' imprisonment. Id. Vega was remanded back to the State of Michigan on February 18, 2012. Id. at 3. His projected release date is February 5, 2023, via good conduct time credit. Doc. 1-2 at 1.

         DISCUSSION

         In his Petition, Vega states that, on July 27, 2010, he was sentenced in the Sixth Circuit Court of Pontiac (Michigan) to 21 months' to 15 years' imprisonment for count 1 and to 18 months' to 3 years' imprisonment for violations of probation in case numbers 08-218861-FH and 08-221303-FH . Doc. 1-1 at 3. On December 6, 2010, Vega was taken into federal custody, and on December 8, 2010, Vega was arraigned in federal court after the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Id. at 2. Vega was sentenced in federal court on February 7, 2012 and was remanded back to the State of Michigan on February 18, 2012. Id. at 3. Vega asserts he has not received credit against his federal sentence for the time he spent in federal custody from December 6, 2010 through February 7, 2012. Id. at 2, 6. It is this time for which Vega seeks credit against his federal sentence.

         Respondent asserts Vega's sentence has been properly calculated, and he is not entitled to any credit against his federal sentence. Doc. 7.

         I. Whether Vega is Entitled to Credit Against his Sentence

         It is the duty of the United States Attorney General, acting through the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), to determine the amount of credit due for the time served by the defendant “for any time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences.” United States v. Alexander, 609 F.3d 1250, 1259 (11th Cir. 2010). “A federal district court reviews for abuse of discretion the BOP's decision under [18 U.S.C.] § 3585 regarding commencement of a federal sentence and the grant of credit for prior custody.” Paradis v. Keller, No. 1:10-CV-2354, 2011 WL 2790480, at *4 (N.D.Ga. June 13, 2011), report and recommendation adopted, 2011 WL 2790472 (N.D.Ga. July 14, 2011). To determine whether the BOP properly calculated Vega's sentence, the Court must begin with the plain language of the statute itself. Harris v. Garner, 216 F.3d 970, 972 (11th Cir. 2000) (“We begin our construction of [a statutory provision] where courts should always begin the process of legislative interpretation, and where they often should end it as well, which is with the words of the statutory provision.”). Section 3585 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which pertains to “credit for prior custody, ” is controlling for making credit determinations for sentences imposed under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. This statute provides:

(a) Commencement of sentence. 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) Credit of Prior Custody. 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 ...

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