United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
O'CONNOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is federal prisoner Jacqueline Dennis's
(“Dennis”) petition for writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (ECF No. 3), the FMC-Carswell
Warden's response (ECF No. 7), and Dennis's reply and
supplemental reply. (ECF Nos. 9, 16). After considering
Dennis's petition, the record, related briefing, and
applicable law, the Court concludes that Dennis's §
2241 petition should be and is hereby
DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
and co-defendant Henry Francis were convicted in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida of
conspiracy to commit second degree murder of a federal
official, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1117 and
1114, and six counts of using interstate and foreign commerce
facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 1958. J. United States v.
No. 8:93-cr-304-T-23 (M.D. Fla. May 6, 1996), ECF No.
She was sentenced to 365 months' imprisonment.
Id. Dennis's conviction and sentence were
affirmed on direct appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. United
States v. Francis, Et Al., 131 F.3d 1452 (11th Cir.
1997). Dennis's first § 2255 motion as amended
raised forty-three claims of ineffective assistance of
counsel, but that motion was denied by the same district
judge who presided over her jury trial. March 6, 200 Order,
United States v. Dennis, No. 8:99-cv-674-T-23B, ECF
No. 6. In denying the motion, the district judge recounted
the unusual background facts that resulted in Dennis's
trial and convictions:
On May 10, 1993, Defendant Dennis'co-defendant, Henry
Francis, was arrested for conspiracy to distribute crack
cocaine in No. 93-158-Cr-T-25B. Rendiff Green and Amanda
Wilson were also arrested for participating in the same
offense. Ernest Hardy, who was cooperating with law
enforcement officials at the time, witnessed the transactions
that resulted in the arrests of Francis and his
co-defendants. D.E.A. Task Force Agent Lawrence Bahnsen made
the arrests. The case was then assigned to Assistant United
States Attorney (AUSA) Kevin Darken to handle the
Agent Bahnsen and AUSA Darken were present at Francis'
initial appearance. From the beginning, AUSA Darken opposed
Francis' request to be released on bond. Agent Bahnsen
testified in support of AUSA Darken's position,
describing Francis' involvement in the charged narcotics
transactions. Agent Bahnsen testified further that, following
his arrest, Francis voluntarily waived his right to remain
silent and had admitted his involvement in two crack cocaine
sales to a confidential informant, Ernest Hardy. The United
States Magistrate Judge ordered Francis detained.
On May 25, 1993, new counsel for Francis filed a motion for
reconsideration of the Court's detention order. AUSA
Darken opposed the motion, and, on June 2, 1993, the United
States Magistrate Judge denied the emotion. Rendiff Green,
Francis' co-defendant in the drug case, had brokered the
drug transaction with Ernest Hardy that had led to the
arrests of Green and Francis. While imprisoned with Green,
Francis informed Green that he was plotting to kill Agent
Bahnsen, AUSA Darken, and Hardy. Francis told Green that he
wanted to kill Agent Bahnsen because Agent Bahnsen had
testified untruthfully about Francis at the detention hearing
and the he wanted to kill AUSA Darken because AUSA Darken was
“corrupt” and had argued against bond for
Francis. Francis told Green that Francis would get
“Mauler, ” one of his Jamaican associates, to
commit the murders, and that he was trying to raise money to
pay Mauler for the job. However, after learning that Mauler
wanted payment up front, Francis decided to bring in other
Jamaicans to commit the murders. Knowing that Green had
experience with false documents, Francis asked Green to
obtain United States' passports for the Jamaicans to use
to travel to the United States.
After learning of Francis' intention, Green told Agent
Bahnsen, who put Green in contact with Agent Thomas of the
Federal bureau of Investigation (FBI). On September 8, 1993,
Green told Agent Thomas that Francis wanted Agent Bahnsen and
AUSA Darken murdered. Agent Thomas told Green to go along
with Francis and to tell Francis that Green could obtain
United States' passports for the Jamaicans.
After corroborating the information provided by Green, the
FBI prepared an Application for a Title II wire interception
to monitor the calls made by Francis from the telephone at
the jail. The Order authorizing the wire interception was
signed on September 22, 1993.
Also, as a result of this information, another AUSA was
assigned to handle Francis' narcotics prosecution.
However, to avoid subjecting the new AUSA to any potential
danger, AUSA Darken continued to sign all papers in the case.
AUSA Darken was assigned 24-hour armed United States Marshals
Service protection. Detective Richard Archie, a native
speaker of Jamaican patois, was set up as
the“source” for false passports and other
documents. Agent Thomas gave Green a telephone number for
Detective Archie, who was going by the name
“A.G.” and Green passed this information along to
Francis, who contacted Detective Archie. Detective Archie was
instructed to tell Francis that the passports would be $500
each. Eventually, however, Francis suggested that
“A.G.” commit the murders, and Detective Archie
agreed to the plan.
From conversations with Francis, Detective Archie understood
that the $500 that Francis had intended to put towards
passports would instead be an initial payment for
“A.G.” to commit the murders. Francis told
Detective Archie that his “baby mother, ”
Jacqueline Dennis, the Defendant in the present case, would
furnish Detective Archie with additional information about
the intended targets. Defendant Dennis later contacted
Detective Archie a number of times with information.
In September 1993, AUSA Darken saw a suspicious -looking car
drive slowly back and forth past his home. An
African-American woman was driving and a teenage
African-American male was in the passenger seat. A neighbor
later told AUSA Darken that he had seen the same care behind
AUSA Darken's house.
Also, in September, a woman telephoned AUSA Darken's home
and claimed to be from the United States Marshals Service
answering service. She asked to speak with one of the
marshals, and AUSA Darken called one of the marshals to the
telephone. When the marshal picked up the telephone, however,
no one was there. Records of the United States Marshals
Service answering service revealed that the answering service
had not placed the call.
During a later search of Defendant Dennis's home, Agent
Thomas found in the bedroom a copy of the criminal complaint
in United States v. Henry Francis, Rendiff Green, and
Amanda Wilson, Dist. Ct. No. 93-158-Cr-T-25B.
Handwritten on the document in pencil was personal
information about Agent Bahnsen and AUSA Darken, including
Darken's home address and telephone number. Defendant
Dennis had obtained the information for “A.G.” On
May 12, 2994, Defendants Dennis, Henry Francis and others,
were indicted by a Second Superseding Indictment charging one
count on conspiracy to murder a federal officer engaged in,
and on account of, the performance of his official duty, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1117 and 1114 (Count One); nine
counts of use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities
in the commission of murder-for-hire, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1958 (Counts Two through Ten); and one count of
solicitation to commit a ...