The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge
Presently before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Frederick Hegney ("Hegney"), a federal inmate incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Allenwood, White Deer, Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1.) Hegney raises two distinct issues in his petition. He first asserts that the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") erroneously computed his sentence by denying him prior custody credit. Second, he contends that the United States Parole Commission ("Commission") abused its discretion when it relied on certain conduct in calculating his Salient Factor Score ("SFS") and severity rating. For the reasons discussed below, the petition will be denied.
According to an Operations Manager at the Bureau of Prisons Designation and Sentence Computation Center, Hegney was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations on September 5, 1986. (Doc. 5-2, Declaration of Robin Barnes ("Barnes Declaration"), at 4, ¶ 5.) Thereafter, he was charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida with possession of firearms by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1202(a)(1), inter alia. (Id.) Following a jury verdict of guilty on the possession of firearms charge, he was sentenced to a two-year term of imprisonment. (Doc. 5-2 at 8.) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3568, prior custody credit for the period of September 5, 1986, through October 29, 1987, was applied to the two-year term. (Doc. 5-2 at 4, ¶ 6.) With the calculation of statutory good time, this sentence expired on April 13, 1988. (Id.)
Although the two-year sentence expired on April 13, 1988, Hegney remained in federal custody as a result of additional federal charges filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. (Id. at 5, ¶ 7.) Specifically, he was charged with RICO in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), conspiracy to commit RICO in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), and three counts of distribution of a quantity of cocaine in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). On October 31, 1989, following a jury trial that resulted in a finding of guilt on all five counts, he was sentenced to two consecutive twenty-year terms of imprisonment on RICO and conspiracy charges, a ten-year consecutive term of imprisonment on the first cocaine count, and two fifteen-year terms of imprisonment on the remaining cocaine counts, each of which were to run concurrent to the other sentences imposed. (Doc. 5-2 at 10.) This resulted in an aggregate sentence of fifty years imprisonment. (Doc. 5-2 at 5, ¶ 7.) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3568, prior custody credit for the period of April 13, 1988 through October 30, 1989, was applied to the fifty-year term. (Doc. 5-2 at 5, ¶ 8.) With the application of statutory good time, his projected mandatory release date is March 5, 2017. (Id.)
B. Salient Factor Score and Severity Rating
The Commission held an initial parole hearing on September 29, 1998, and after reviewing documentation that indicated that Hegney participated in a quadruple homicide while a member in the "Outlaws Motorcycle Club" (a motorcycle club that participates in organized criminal activities), Hegney was assigned an SFS of three with a severity rating of eight.*fn1 This resulted in a parole guideline range of 180 months. The hearing examiner found that consideration for parole was not warranted and recommended that Hegney be scheduled for a fifteen-year reconsideration hearing in the year 2013. A Notice of Action was issued on October 20, 1998. (Doc. 1 at 19.) Hegney timely appealed the decision to the National Appeals Board ("Board"). On March 5, 1999, the Board affirmed the decision.
On August 17, 2005, a statutory interim hearing was held. Hegney's SFS and offense severity rating remained the same. (Doc. 5-2 at 25.) The hearing examiner recommended no change in the fifteen-year reconsideration hearing of September 2013. A Notice of Action was filed on September 2, 2005, informing Hegney that there was "[n]o change in 15-year reconsideration date September 2013" and that he was scheduled for a statutory interim hearing in August 2007. (Doc. 5-2 at 27.) He was also advised that the decision was appealable and that any appeal must be filed within thirty days of the date the Notice of Action was sent. (Id.) Hegney did not file an administrative appeal of the decision. Instead, he filed the instant petition on February 12, 2007. (Doc. 1.) The matter has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.
28 U.S.C. § 2241 provides district courts with authority to order the release of prisoners from unconstitutional conditions of confinement. See Moscato v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 98 F.3d 757, 758-60 (3d Cir. 1996). Generally, federal prisoners are required to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See id. at 760; see also Callwood v. Enos, 230 F.3d 627, 634 (3d Cir. 2000) ("[W]e have consistently applied an exhaustion requirement to claims brought under § 2241.") (citing Schandelmeier v. Cunningham, 819 F.2d 52, 53 (3d Cir. 1986); Arias v. United States Parole Comm'n, 648 F.2d 196, 199 (3d Cir. 1981)). Exhaustion is required for three reasons: (1) it facilitates judicial review by allowing the appropriate agency to develop a factual record and to apply its expertise; (2) it conserves judicial resources; and (3) it fosters administrative autonomy by providing agencies the opportunity to correct their errors. Garcia v. Gonzalez, Civ. No. 3:07-CV-0047, 2007 WL 438747, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 6, 2007) (citing Moscato, 98 F.3d at 761-62). Exhaustion of administrative remedies, however, is not required where exhaustion would not promote these goals.*fn2
Hegney contends that the BOP improperly computed his fifty-year sentence on RICO, conspiracy and cocaine charges and is seeking credit for the time period of September 5, 1986 through October 31, 1989. Respondent has not challenged Hegney's exhaustion of his administrative ...