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Jereis v. Warden Lewisburg Satellite Camp

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 2, 2017

ZEHY JEREIS, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN LEWISBURG SATELLITE CAMP Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          SYLVIA H. RAMBO United States District Judge

         Background

         On November 9, 2015, Petitioner Zehy Jereis, a federal prisoner confined at the minimum security satellite camp of the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Doc. 1. Jereis claimed that he was not given credits for time served after entering a plea of guilty to a criminal charge but prior to the sentence being imposed and that good conduct time was improperly omitted from his sentence calculation. Jereis paid the $5.00 filing fee.

         The petition was given preliminary screening pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254, as made applicable to § 2241 cases by Rule 1 thereof, [1] and because it did not plainly appear from the petition that Jereis was not entitled to relief the court on November 30, 2015, directed that it be served on Respondent. A response to the petition was filed on December 21, 2015. Petitioner filed a traverse on January 4, 2016. The court on January 12, 2016, authorized the filing of sur-reply brief and on that date one was filed. The petition is ripe for disposition and for the reasons set forth below it will be denied.

         Discussion

         On May 17, 2011, an eleven-count, superseding Indictment was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Jereis and one other individuals, charging them with several offenses, including conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. United States v. Jereis, 1:10-cr-00007-CM-2 (S.D.N.Y. May 17, 2010), ECF No. 94 (PACER).[2]

         A jury trial occurred in February and March, 2012, and on March 29, 2012, Jereis was found guilty of conspiracy to make corrupt payments and the four other counts of which he was charged. ECF Nos. 163, 199 and 220. On November 19, 2012, Jereis was sentenced to a term of 48 months on each of the counts to be served concurrently and he was ordered to surrender for service of the sentence at the institution designated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons before 2 p.m. on March 4, 2013. ECF No. 220.

         During the interval between the date the sentence was imposed and the date of surrender, Jereis was investigated for Aiding and Assisting the Preparation of False Payroll Tax Returns and on March 4, 2013, waived indictment by a grand jury and pled guilty to an Information charging him with that offense. United States v. Jereis, 1:13-cr-00146-ER-1 (S.D.N.Y. March 4, 2013), ECF Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 22. Jereis after pleading guilty was released on his own recognizance in order to surrender to the Lewisburg Satellite Prison Camp to commence serving the 48-month sentence. ECF No. 3. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing deferred with respect to the offense of Aiding and Assisting the Preparation of False Payroll Tax Returns pending the completion of the presentence investigation. Unnumbered ECF docket annotation (March 4, 2013).

         On March 21, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Prisons with respect to the 48-month sentence set Jereis' home detention eligibility at April 3, 2016, and his release date as August 26, 2016. Doc. 1-2, Exhibit B attached to Jereis' Habeas Petition.

         On October 2, 2015, Jereis was sentenced by Judge Ramos on the payroll tax charge to 15 months imprisonment, five months to be served concurrently with his previous sentence of 48 months and 10 months consecutive. United States v. Jereis, 1:13-cr-00146-ER-1 (S.D.N.Y.) ECF Nos. 23 and 25.

         A review of the transcript of the sentencing reveals that the following exchanges occurred between Judge Ramos, counsel for Jereis and the assistant United States attorney:

The court: . . . Does counsel know of any legal reason, other than what was already argued that the sentence should not be imposed as stated?
Ms. Schwartz Frome [counsel for Jereis]: Your Honor, Mr. Jereis served seven months of the sentence. He surrendered on March 4, and your Honor had his bail status remanded so that he was obtaining credit for the sentence during the time that he was serving. So I don't know whether that effects - Mr. Halperin [AUSA]: He served seven months on the crimes for which he was convicted before Judge McMahon. March 4 was his surrender date. If the Court remembers, the Court took the plea in the morning, Mr. Jereis drove himself to Pennsylvania and surrendered, which was scheduled before the plea even happened.
I don't see what relevance that has to the calculation that counsel raised with the Court.
Ms. Schwartz Frome: Because your Honor then had his bail changed from ROR to remanded, so once he was remanded he commenced to ...

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