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Wade v. Baltazar

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

September 12, 2019

CHARLES W. WADE, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN BALTAZAR, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          MALACHY E. MANNION, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner, Charles W. Wade, an inmate confined in the Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution, Glenville, West Virginia, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241. (Doc. 1). Wade challenges a determination by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) that due to Wade's criminal judgment for Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §924(c), he would be precluded from receiving early release under 18 U.S.C. §3621(e), despite Wade's completion of the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP). Id. Wade claims that he is “factually and actually innocent” of the §924(c) offense, and that the government never proved he possessed a firearm while trafficking drugs. Id. Thus, he seeks a one year sentence reduction for having “already completed RDAP.” Id.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction.

         I. Background

         On August 22, 2011, after entering a plea of guilty, Wade was sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland to an eighty-four (84) month term of imprisonment for Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 Grams or More of Cocaine Base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1), and a sixty (60) month consecutive term of imprisonment for Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §924(c). (Doc. 9-1 at 8, Judgment in a Criminal Case).

         On August 16, 2012, Wade filed a Motion to Vacate under 28 U.S.C. §2255. See Wade v. United States, No. DKC 12-CV-2442 (U.S.D.C. Maryland).

         By Memorandum and Order dated June 19, 2013, Petitioner's 2255 motion was denied. Id. On July 30, 2013, Wade filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit. Id. By Judgment dated January 10, 2014, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the District Court's denial of Wade's 2255 motion. Id.

         On December 16, 2015, Wade filed a Consent Motion for Reduced Sentence Under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2). Id.

         By Order dated January 8, 2016, Petitioner's motion for sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2) was granted and Petitioner's sentence was reduced from 144 months (84 60) to 130 months (70 60). (Doc. 9-1 at 15, Order).

         Under Section 3621 of Title 18 of the United States Code, Congress provided that “[t]he Bureau shall make available appropriate substance abuse treatment for each prisoner the Bureau determines has a treatable condition of substance addiction or abuse.” 18 U.S.C. §3621(b). In 1994, as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (“VCCLEA”), Pub. L. 103-322, §32001 (1994). Congress amended the statute to require that the BOP shall provide residential substance abuse treatment for all eligible prisoners. See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(1)(C). The incentive for prisoners to enroll in the BOP's intensive nine-month residential treatment program-as opposed to its various nonresidential treatment options-is a possible reduction in sentence of up to one year. See 18 U.S.C. §3621(e)(2)(B) (“The period a prisoner convicted of a nonviolent offense remains in custody after successfully completing a treatment program may be reduced by the Bureau of Prisons, but such reduction may not be more than one year from the term the prisoner must otherwise serve.”).

         The BOP offers the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (“RDAP”) for inmates who volunteer for treatment and who have been determined by clinical psychology staff to have a diagnosable and verifiable substance use disorder. In order to successfully complete the RDAP, inmates must complete a unit-based component (minimum 500 hours), follow-up services, and a transitional drug abuse treatment component (TDAT).[1]

         If an inmate successfully completes the RDAP, the BOP may reduce the period an inmate convicted of a nonviolent offense remains in custody, but such reduction may not be more than one year from the term the inmate must otherwise serve. 18 U.S.C. §3621(e)(2)(B).

         In accordance with BOP Program Statement (“PS”) 5331.02, Early Release Procedures Under 18 USC §3621(e), section 7.b., a federal prison's Drug Abuse Program Coordinator (“DAPC”) requests an offense review from the DSCC Legal Department after he or she determines that the inmate qualifies for participation in the RDAP and is not otherwise ineligible for early release as a result of one of the conditions identified in PS 5331.02, section 7.a. The DSCC Legal Department then completes the offense review in accordance with applicable federal regulations and the applicable version of PS 5162.05, Categorization of Offenses. (See Doc. 9-1 at 18 - 48, Early Release Procedures and Categorization of Offenses). As part of the offense review, the DSCC Legal Department determines whether an inmate is precluded from receiving early release after reviewing the inmate's DSCC-maintained electronic sentence computation file, which includes the Judgment and Commitment Order (“J&C”), Statement of Reasons (“SOR”), Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), and any other relevant sentencing documentation. Id. The final decision regarding 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e) eligibility is then transmitted back to the requesting DAPC. Id.

         In evaluating whether an inmate is eligible for 18 U.S.C. §3621(e) early release consideration, the DSCC Legal Department engages in a two-step analysis. The first step of the analysis involves determining whether any of an inmate's current offenses of conviction precludes early ...


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