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Alzamora v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Beaumont Division

September 19, 2017

RUBEN ALZAMORA
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Thad Heartfield United States District Judge

         Petitioner Ruben Alzamora, an inmate formerly confined at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, Texas, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

         The Petition

         Petitioner brings this petition for writ of habeas corpus contesting the execution of his sentence by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). Petitioner contends he has been denied proper credit toward the completion of his sentence. Specifically, petitioner claims he should be given credit toward his federal sentence for time spent in state custody during the periods from December 15, 1988 through May 14, 1990 and September 18, 1989 to May 13, 1990. Alternatively, petitioner seeks a downward departure on his federal sentence of 14 months pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3(b).

         Petitioner also alleges his criminal defense attorney was ineffective when he did not request a downward departure from the trial judge on his federal sentence pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5G1.3.

         The Response

         The respondent was ordered to show cause why relief should not be granted. In response, the respondent asserts petitioner is not allowed credit for time spent on loan to federal authorities via a Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum. Further, the respondent asserts that petitioner already received the requested credit toward his state sentence, so granting the petition would violate 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b). Finally, the respondent asserts that petitioner's argument concerning counsel should not be considered because petitioner has not met the criteria to support a claim under the savings clause of § 2255. Accordingly, the respondent contends petitioner's petition should be denied.

         Factual Background

         On September 22, 1988, petitioner distributed approximately 456 grams of cocaine hydrochloride. Petitioner was arrested by state authorities in Collier County, Florida on October 7, 1988 for the state offense of trafficking in cocaine, case number 88-1451. Petitioner was released on bond on October 8, 1988.

         On December 15, 1988, petitioner was taken into state custody in Collier County, Florida for a violation of his state parole, Warrant Number 783013. Petitioner remained in continuous state custody, and his release on state parole supervision was ultimately terminated. On September 18, 1989, petitioner was sentenced to a term of 12 years' confinement for two counts of trafficking in cocaine in Collier County, Florida, case number 88-1451.

         On May 10, 1989, petitioner was transferred to federal custody pursuant to a Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum to face the federal drug charges against him. On October 5, 1989, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, petitioner entered a plea of guilty to distribution of approximately 456 grams of Cocaine Hydrochloride. On May 14, 1990, petitioner was sentenced to a term of 168 months' imprisonment, to run concurrently with his undischarged state sentence. Petitioner was returned to state authorities on June 7, 1990.

         Petitioner did not appeal his original conviction and sentence. However, on April 18, 1996, petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Alzamora v. United States, Civil Action No. 2:96cv138 (M.D. Fla. 1996). The motion was denied by the district court on August 16, 1996. Id.

         Analysis

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241 gives the district court authority to grant a writ of habeas corpus where a state prisoner “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or ...


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