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Blanc v. McConnell

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

July 19, 2019

LUKNER BLANC, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN CHRIS MCCONNELL, Respondent

          DRELL JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by pro se Petitioner Lukner Blanc (#06662-104) (“Blanc”). Blanc is an inmate in the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pollock, Louisiana. Blanc challenges the computation of his sentence by the BOP.

         Because Blanc has received all the sentencing credit to which he is entitled, his § 2241 Petition (Doc. 1) should be DENIED.

         I. Background

         Blanc was arrested by Florida authorities on state charges in 2012. (Doc. 1-2, p. 5). He was transferred to federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum on August 21, 2014. (Doc. 1-2, p. 9; 9:14-cr-80114, S.D. Fla.; Docs. 15, 29).

         Blanc was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to steal government funds, stealing government funds, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. United States v. Placide, 686 Fed.Appx. 803, 805 (11th Cir. 2017), cert. denied sub nom. Blanc v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 458; 199 L.Ed.2d 337 (2017). Blanc was sentenced to a total term of 192 months of imprisonment. (9:14-cr-80114, S.D. Fla.; Doc. 354). Following sentencing, Blanc was returned to Florida authorities. (Doc. 1-2, p. 9).

         On March 1, 2018, Blanc was sentenced to concurrent five-year and 1, 949-days state terms of imprisonment, with credit for all time spent in custody. (Doc. 1-2, p. 5). The state sentences were, effectively, “time served” sentences. (Doc. 1-2, p. 5).

         Blanc filed a request for nunc pro tunc designation with the BOP. Blanc was advised that the BOP would “seek the position of the federal sentencing court” and, “should the court order, recommend, or otherwise indicate the federal term is to operate concurrently with the state term, ” the sentence computation would be updated accordingly. (Doc. 1-2, p. 10).

         II. Law and Analysis

         The authority to grant or deny credit for time served is specifically reserved to the United States Attorney General, who has delegated that responsibility to the BOP. See U.S. v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329 (1992). The district court may review a challenge to the BOP's refusal to grant credit or make such a designation in a § 2241 petition. See Pierce v. Holder, 614 F.3d 158, 160 (5th Cir. 2010).

         When a federal judgment is silent regarding whether sentences are to run concurrently or consecutively, the presumption is that they will run consecutively unless the court specifically orders that they run concurrently. See 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a); U.S. v. Jack, 566 Fed.Appx. 331, 332 (5th Cir. 2014); Free v. Miles, 333 F.3d 550, 553 (5th Cir. 2003). At the time of Blanc's sentencing, the federal court did not order his federal sentence to run concurrently with the future state sentence. (9:14-cr-80114, S.D. Fla.; Doc. 354). Therefore, the sentences are presumed to run consecutively. Moreover, Blanc filed a motion in the sentencing court requesting a nunc pro tunc or concurrent designation of his sentence. (9:14-cr-80114, S.D. Fla.; Doc. 414). The motion was denied. (9:14-cr-80114, S.D. Fla.; Doc. 415).

         A federal prison sentence generally begins on the date the defendant is received into custody. See 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a). Blanc was in the primary custody of the State of Florida due to his 2012 arrest. He was temporarily transferred to federal authorities pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. See Causey v. Civiletti, 621 F.2d 691, 693 (5th Cir. 1980) (a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum only constitutes a “loan” of the prisoner to another jurisdiction). Therefore, the BOP determined Blanc's sentence commenced after his state sentencing, when he was transferred from the State of Florida to federal authorities.

         A prisoner shall only 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, if it has not been credited against another sentence. See 18 U.S.C. ยง 3585(b). Because the time spent in primary state custody was credited toward the ...


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