United States District Court, D. Minnesota
United States District Judge
Epifanio Salgado Flores, Jr., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
distribute and possess with intent to distribute
methamphetamine and was sentenced to a 60-month term of
imprisonment. Flores now seeks a reduction or modification of
that sentence on two grounds. See ECF No. 530. The
first of those claims lacks merit, while the second of those
claims is not within the jurisdiction of the Court to
adjudicate. Accordingly, Flores's motion will be denied.
Flores seeks a reduction in sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c), which provides that
in the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term
of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o), upon motion of the defendant or
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, or on its own motion,
the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after
considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the
extent that they are applicable, if such a reduction is
consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the
recommended sentencing range was determined partly through
the application of Section 2D1.1 of the United States
Sentencing Guidelines, which sets the offense level for
crimes involving the unlawful manufacturing, importing,
exporting, or trafficking of drugs (or the attempt or
involvement in a conspiracy to commit any of those crimes).
Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines
reduced most drug quantity base offense levels under §
2D1.1, while Amendment 788 to the United States Sentencing
Guidelines made Amendment 782 retroactively applicable to
defendants already sentenced. Flores argues that, due to the
effect of Amendments 782 and 788, he “has been
sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing
range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing
Commission” and is therefore eligible for relief under
Amendments 782 and 788 took effect on November 1, 2015.
See U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, application note 6.
Flores was sentenced on July 25, 2017. In other words,
Amendments 782 and 788 had already come into effect by the
time that Flores's sentence was imposed, and those
amendments were considered by the Court (through the
application of the amended § 2D1.1) in determining
Flores's recommended sentencing range at the time of
sentencing. Because his recommended sentencing range was not
subsequently lowered by Amendments 782 and 788,
see 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), Flores is not
eligible for relief under § 3582(c)(2).
Flores argues that he is entitled to additional good-time
credit pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018 (“the
Act”), Pub. L. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018).
“Prior to the passage of the Act, the BOP interpreted
Title 18, United States Code, Section 3624(b), to permit the
calculation of good time credit based on the length of time
that a prisoner actually serves rather than the length of the
sentence imposed. The Act amends Section 3624(b) to require
calculating good time credit based on the length of a
prisoner's sentence imposed by the court.”
Robertson v. Marques, No. 19-CV-1009 (WMW/SER), 2019
WL 2464805, at *1 (D. Minn. June 13, 2019) (citation
omitted). The effect of the Act in this regard is to increase
the good-time credit to which federal prisoners are eligible
by seven days for each year of imprisonment served. Flores
contends that this change was intended to be immediate and
asserts that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has not yet made
the necessary alteration to his sentence.
the merits of Flores's claim, it is not properly raised
in this District. A challenge to the determination of release
date or calculation of good-time credits must be brought
through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. See
Spencer v. Haynes, 774 F.3d 467, 469 (8th Cir. 2014);
Watson v. United States, 392 Fed. App'x 737, 741
(11th Cir. 2010 (per curiam). A habeas corpus petition, in
turn, must be filed in the district of incarceration, not the
district of conviction. See 28 U.S.C. §
2241(a); United States v. Chacon-Vega, 262 Fed.
App'x 730 (8th Cir. 2008) (per curiam) (collecting
cases). This Court lacks jurisdiction to consider the
challenge to the calculation of Flores's good-time
credits and must reject the claim on that basis.
Flores has requested in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) status during the consideration of his
motion for a reduction in sentence. See ECF No. 531.
Flores is financially entitled to IFP status, but no filing
fee or other costs are required for the motion submitted by
Flores, and thus IFP status will gain him nothing as a
practical matter at this juncture. Accordingly, his IFP
application will be denied as moot.
on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
motion for a sentence reduction of defendant Epifanio Salgado
Flores, Jr. [ECF No. 530] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
application to proceed in forma pauperis of Flores