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Smith v. Sherrod

December 22, 2009

MICHAEL W. SMITH, PETITIONER,
v.
W.A. SHERROD, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

REAGAN, District Judge

A. Introduction

In the Spring of 2007, while confined at FCI-Greenville (within this Judicial District), Michael W. Smith filed the above-captioned habeas action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Smith contends that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) failed to credit against his prison term time spent in a Missouri state detention facility prior to imposition of his federal sentence. Smith exhausted his administrative remedies on the issue of prior custody credit. The Court enjoys subject matter jurisdiction under the federal question statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and this fully-briefed matter is ripe for adjudication.

Smith named Sara Revell (the Warden of FCI-Greenville, Smith's place of confinement on the date he filed the petition) as Respondent. Revell has since transferred from FCI-Greenville. The current Warden of FCI-Greenville is W.A. Sherrod. Therefore, the Court now DISMISSES Revell and SUBSTITUTES Sherrod as Respondent herein.

B. Analysis

Resolution of Smith's habeas petition starts with an overview of several sentences imposed against him in federal and state court. These are not all of Smith's prior convictions and sentences. The Court focuses herein on the convictions and sentences germane to this habeas petition. Several of the relevant charges and sentences overlap, leaving a circuitous chronology of arrests, convictions, and sentencings.

On January 22, 2004, St. Louis city police officers executed a search warrant at Smith's residence. They found heroin, crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and a rifle. The St. Louis police officers arrested Smith on narcotics charges and took him to a Missouri jail. Before those charges were disposed of in the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri, additional events transpired.

As to the firearm located in the January 2004 search, Smith was indicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in April 2005. Smith was taken into temporary federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum and had an initial appearance in the Eastern District of Missouri on July 18, 2005 on the federal firearm charge. In the meantime, other charges had ensued.

On August 4, 2004, Smith was sentenced in St. Louis Municipal Court to 29 days in jail on a charge of petty larceny (Docket No. D000541250-7). See Doc. 14 at p. 12. On the same date and in the same court, Smith was sentenced to 29 days in jail on a separate charge ("No State Operator License," Docket No. 99119574105). Id. at p. 13.

On December 5, 2005, the Assistant Circuit Attorney in St. Louis nolle prosequied the January 2004 narcotics charges. See Doc. 13-2, p. 13. That disposition did not affect the federal firearm case (which was still pending in the Eastern District of Missouri). Plus Smith had an intervening sentence in an unrelated case between the time he pled guilty to and was sentenced on the federal firearm charge.

On December 8, 2005, Smith was sentenced in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri in Case No. 029-3332 (domestic assault 3rd degree) to 355 days in jail. See Doc. 13-2, p. 15; Doc. 14, p. 12. Because Smith had already been incarcerated more than 355 days (he had been in state custody for 687 days at that point, since his January 22, 2004 arrest), he was released by state authorities that day (December 8, 2005) on "time served" -- released to the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Ultimately, Smith pled guilty to the federal gun charge (possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime). On January 30, 2006, the Honorable Stephen N. Limbaugh of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri sentenced Smith to 120 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Judge Limbaugh ordered the 120-month term of imprisonment to run concurrently with the December 2005 prison term from St. Louis Circuit Court (Docket No. 029-3332). See Doc. 13-2 at p. 3. The effect of Judge Limbaugh's directive (for the sentences to run concurrently) lies at the heart of this habeas proceeding.

As noted above, Smith received his federal sentence from Judge Limbaugh on January 30, 2006. He remained in federal custody and was delivered to the BOP on February 21, 2006. The BOP calculated Smith's sentence to commence on ...


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