United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on several pro se motions
filed by Defendant Ronald David Johnson. (Dkts. 255, 256,
257, 259, 261, 262.) For the reasons addressed below,
Johnson's motions are denied.
found Johnson guilty of ten counts of fraud on June 19, 2017,
and the Court sentenced Johnson to 126 months'
imprisonment on November 20, 2017. Johnson appealed his
convictions and sentence and, thereafter, separately appealed
this Court's rulings on several of his pro se
postconviction motions. Johnson's appeals are pending
before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth
Circuit. Johnson now seeks immediate release to home
confinement, reconsideration of the Court's denial of his
motion to correct the presentence investigation report, an
accounting of assets forfeited to and sold by Plaintiff
United States of America, a stay of forfeiture proceedings,
and the return of personal property seized from Johnson by
law enforcement officers.
Johnson's Motions for Immediate Release to Home
seeks immediate release to home confinement to serve his
sentence pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018 (FSA), 132
Stat. 5194-249 (2018). Johnson argues that he qualifies for
home confinement under the FSA based on his status as a
low-risk, non-violent, first-time offender. The United States
opposes Johnson's motion, arguing that the Federal Bureau
of Prisons (BOP) has exclusive authority to designate
Johnson's place of confinement.
has given the BOP the statutory authority to “designate
the place of the prisoner's imprisonment.” 18
U.S.C. § 3621(b). This authority includes the authority
to make prerelease custody decisions, such as placement in
home confinement. See 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c);
Elwood v. Jeter, 386 F.3d 842, 847 (8th Cir. 2004).
As relevant here, Section 602 of the FSA amended Section
3624(c)(2) to include a home-confinement provision for
Home confinement authority.-The authority
under this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home
confinement for the shorter of 10 percent of the term of
imprisonment of that prisoner or 6 months. The Bureau of
Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, place prisoners
with lower risk levels and lower needs on home confinement
for the maximum amount of time permitted under this
18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(2) (emphasis added); 132 Stat. 5238.
Johnson relies on this statutory language to support his
motion for immediate release to home confinement.
has given the Attorney General of the United States the
exclusive authority to designate the place of confinement for
the service of a federal sentence.” United States
v. Johnson, 563 F.2d 362, 364 (8th Cir. 1977);
accord Tapia v. United States, 564 U.S. 319, 331
(2011) (observing that district court may
“recommend that the BOP place an offender in a
particular facility or program, ” but
“decisionmaking authority rests with the BOP”).
As such, courts in this District and elsewhere consistently
have denied motions seeking immediate release to home
confinement under the FSA, holding that the Attorney General
and the BOP have the discretion and exclusive authority to
designate the place of an inmate's confinement. See,
e.g., Hansen v. Rios, No. 19-cv-374, 2019 WL
4305718, at *3 (D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2019); Schlegel v.
Rios, No. 19-cv-338, 2019 WL 3417053, at *4 (D. Minn.
June 18, 2019) (collecting cases), report and
recommendation adopted, 2019 WL 3412207 (D. Minn. July
29, 2019). This Court has no authority to grant the relief
these reasons, Johnson's motions for immediate release to
home confinement are denied.
Johnson's Motion for Reconsideration
next moves for reconsideration of the Court's April 2,
2019 Order, which denied Johnson's motion to correct ...