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Pumphrey v. Coakley

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia

June 21, 2017

WILLIAM C. PUMPHREY, Petitioner,
v.
JOE COAKLEY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DKT. NO. 23], GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DKT. NO. 12], AND DENYING AND DISMISSING § 2241 PETITION WITH PREJUDICE [DKT. NO. 1]

          IRENE M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On October 1, 2016, the petitioner, William C. Pumphrey (“Pumphrey”), filed the pending Petition for Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“Petition”), contending that the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) unlawfully calculated his sentence. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and LR PL P 2, the Court referred the Petition to the Honorable Michael J. Aloi, United States Magistrate Judge, for initial review. Now pending for review is the magistrate judge's report and recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the Court deny and dismiss the Petition (Dkt. No. 23). For the reasons that follow, the Court ADOPTS the R&R.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Pumphrey's Petition challenges the BOP's calculation of his sentence with regard to two separately imposed terms of incarceration.[1] On August 28, 2009, the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) arrested Pumphrey in Salt Lake City, Utah, in connection with an indictment returned against him in the District of New Mexico (D.N.M., Crim. Action No. 1:09cr01746). On May 5, 2010, Pumphrey pleaded guilty in the District of New Mexico to one count of Receipt of Visual Depiction of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(2), 2252(B)(1), and 2256 (D.N.M., Crim. Action No. 1:09cr01746, Dkt. No. 43). Thereafter, on January 20, 2011, the district court sentenced Pumphrey to a 120-month term of incarceration (D.N.M., Crim. Action No. 1:09cr01746, Dkt. No. 64).

         While Pumphrey was serving that sentence, a grand jury in the District of Utah returned an indictment on November 9, 2011, charging him with additional child pornography offenses (D. Utah, Crim. Action No. 2:11cr937, Dkt. No. 1). On March 18, 2013, the district court in Utah dismissed that indictment without prejudice based on a violation of the Speedy Trial Act (D. Utah, Crim. Action No. 2:11cr937, Dkt. No. 56).

         Shortly thereafter, on March 27, 2013, another grand jury in the District of Utah returned an indictment against Pumphrey, and also a superseding indictment on May 22, 2013 (D. Utah, Crim. Action No. 2:13cr197, Dkt. Nos. 1; 25). Pumphrey eventually pleaded guilty to one count of Distribution and Receipt of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2), (b) on June 6, 2013. He waived the preparation of a presentence report and requested that the district court sentence him that same day (D. Utah, Crim. Action No. 2:13cr197, Dkt. No. 54). The district court sentenced Pumphrey to a 120-month term of imprisonment, to run concurrently with the 120-month term previously imposed in the District of New Mexico (D. Utah, Crim. Action No. 2:13cr197, Dkt. No. 57 at 1-2). The district court also recommended to the BOP that Pumphrey receive credit for time served in connection with the matter, including the related case that had been dismissed. Id. at 2.

         Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3584, the BOP aggregated Pumphrey's two sentences into a single term of 12 years, 4 months, and 17 days, finding it began to run when the District of New Mexico imposed its sentence on January 20, 2011 (Dkt. No. 13-1 at 2). The BOP also gave Pumphrey credit for the time he spent in official custody prior to that date, including from August 28, 2009, the date of his arrest on charges in the District of New Mexico, until January 19, 2011, the day prior to his sentencing in the District of New Mexico. Assuming that Pumphrey is eligible to receive good time credit, the BOP projects he will be released on April 30, 2020. Id. at 2-3.

         Pumphrey argues that the BOP calculated his sentence incorrectly (Dkt. No. 1 at 6). He contends that, because the District of Utah intended its sentence to run concurrently with the sentence imposed by the District of New Mexico, the term of incarceration imposed in 2013 should have begun on the date when his term of incarceration in New Mexico was first imposed in 2011. This would result in a ten-year aggregate term, rather than the longer twelve-year plus term calculated by the BOP, and would be further reduced by prior custody credit from Pumphrey's initial arrest in August 2009. Based on this, Pumphrey maintains that his sentence would be fully discharged in 2019. Id. According to the respondent warden, Joseph Coakley (“Coakley”), the BOP properly calculated Pumphrey's aggregate term of imprisonment (Dkt. Nos. 12; 13).

         In an R&R dated May 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge Aloi recommended that the Court grant Coakley's motion for summary judgment and dismiss the Petition (Dkt. No. 23). Beginning with the well-settled principle that a federal sentence cannot commence earlier than the date on which it is imposed, he further reasoned that 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) precludes the BOP from applying the same prior time credit to more than one sentence. Id. at 8-9. Therefore, Magistrate Judge Aloi concluded that, regardless of the District of Utah's intent, the BOP properly calculated the beginning of Pumphrey's second 120-month term of incarceration on June 6, 2013, the date it was imposed, and properly applied prior custody credit to Pumphrey's aggregate term of incarceration. Id. at 11. Pumphrey timely objected to the R&R on May 18, 2017. A discussion of those objections follows.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When reviewing a magistrate judge's R&R pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Court must review de novo only those portions of the R&R to which an objection is timely made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Otherwise, “the Court may adopt, without explanation, any of the magistrate judge's recommendations to which the prisoner does not object.” Dellaciprete v. Gutierrez, 479 F.Supp.2d 600, 603-04 (N.D. W.Va. 2007) (citing Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983)). Courts will uphold those portions of a recommendation to which no objection has been made unless they are “clearly erroneous.” See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Pumphrey argues that the BOP improperly calculated his term of imprisonment despite the fact that “[p]etitioner's attorney, the judge, and the A.U.S.A. went to extraordinary lengths to put on record the intent of the plea agreement that Petitioner's time was to [be] served concurrent [sic] with that of New Mexico and that he was to be given credit for the time he spent in detention in Utah” (Dkt. No. 25 at 2). “[H]e cannot agree that the BOP has some power above and beyond a judge's intentions when sentencing to completely go against said intentions.” Id.

         Although Pumphrey may disagree, Magistrate Judge Aloi fully and fairly addressed this argument. Even though the District of Utah ordered its sentence to run concurrently with the sentence imposed in the District of New Mexico, the District of Utah's sentence could not begin, and thus could not begin to run concurrently, until the date it was imposed. See 18 U.S.C. ยง 3585(a). Moreover, because the BOP is responsible for computing the length of Pumphrey's sentence, the District of Utah's intent regarding credit for time served simply is not controlling. Statutory law ...


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