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United States v. Williams

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

February 4, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
AHMAD WILLIAMS, Defendant.

ORDER

CARLTON W. REEVES, District Judge.

Before the Court is Ahmad Williams' motion seeking transfer from state custody to federal custody. Docket No. 35. Having received the government's response, see Docket No. 37, the matter is ripe for adjudication.

I. Factual and Procedural History

A. Williams' Motion

According to Williams, in January 2013, he pled guilty to aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. He was sentenced to 12 years, with 9 to serve and 3 suspended. The sentence was to run concurrent with a federal sentence and be served in federal prison.

In April 2013, Williams pled guilty in this Court to a single criminal count. He was sentenced to 97 months, which was to run concurrent with the state sentence. This Court recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that Williams serve his sentence in the Yazoo City, Mississippi facility, or else the facility closest to Jackson, Mississippi.

Williams was sent to state prison. He now seeks a transfer from state to federal custody.

B. The Government's Response

The government's response has added additional facts to this history.

In April 2011, it says, Williams was arrested by the Jackson Police Department on suspicion of murder. He shot a detective during the arrest. Williams was subsequently held in state custody. In June 2011, an indictment was returned against him in state court on charges stemming from the shooting, including aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.

One year later, in June 2012, a federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment charging Williams with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The United States Attorney's Office then moved to "borrow" Williams from state custody to face the federal charge. Docket No. 5. The motion was granted. Docket No. 6. Williams pled guilty to the federal charge in December 2012 and was sentenced in March 2013 to 97 months. See Minute Entries of December 6, 2012 and March 26, 2013. Williams was then returned to state custody.

The government argues that Williams is properly in state custody.

II. Substantive Law

"As between the state and federal sovereigns, primary jurisdiction over a person is generally determined by which one first obtains custody of, or arrests, the person." United States v. Cole, 416 F.3d 894, 897 (8th Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). "If, while under the primary jurisdiction of one sovereign, a defendant is transferred to the other jurisdiction to face a charge, primary jurisdiction is not lost but ...


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