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United States v. Sheafe

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 27, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Adam Christopher Sheafe, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HONORABLE JACQUELINE M. RATEAU UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Violation of Interstate Agreement on Detainers (Doc. 95). The Government filed a Response on March 26, 2018 (Doc. 96) and the Defendant filed a Reply on April 4, 2018 (Doc. 97). The Motion was heard by Magistrate Judge Rateau on April 19, 2018. Having considered the matter, the Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant's Motion be DENIED.

         I. UNDISPUTED FACTS

         On January 27, 2016, while the Defendant was serving a state prison sentence in Nevada, the Pima County Attorney's Office filed a detainer with the Nevada Department of Corrections pursuant the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), 18 U.S.C. App. II, § 1, et seq. The Defendant was under indictment on three felony cases in Arizona. On March 8, 2016, Nevada acknowledged receipt of the detainer and provided information to Pima County about the Defendant's location and inmate status. On April 14, 2016, the administrative details of the transfer were complete and Pima County sent a letter to Nevada accepting temporary custody of the Defendant under the IAD.

         Meanwhile, on March 2, 2016, the Defendant, along with his co-defendant and wife, Jane Sheafe, were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. (Doc 3). On April 7, the Government filed an Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum (Writ) with this Court. (Doc 21). The Writ was granted on April 11, 2016, and on April 15, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service took custody of the Defendant and transported him to Federal Court where he had an initial appearance on April 26, 2016.

         Trial was originally scheduled for June 21, 2016. It is now scheduled for June 5, 2018. Defendant agreed to all but three of the continuances.

         II. THE IAD

         The IAD is a compact entered into by 48 States (Louisiana and Mississippi are the exceptions), the federal government, and the District of Columbia to establish procedures for resolution of one jurisdiction's outstanding charges against a prisoner or inmate who is in the custody of another jurisdiction. New York v. Hill, 528 U.S. 110, 111 (2000). The purpose of the IAD is to minimize the adverse impact of a foreign prosecution on the rehabilitative programs of the confining jurisdiction. United States v. Johnson, 953 F.2d 1167, 1170 (9th Cir. 1992).

         When an inmate is transferred from a jurisdiction where he is serving a sentence (“the sending state”) to a jurisdiction where an indictment is pending (“the receiving state”), the IAD imposes time limits within which the receiving state must bring the prisoner to trial. The time limits differ depending on whether it is the inmate or the receiving state that requested the transfer. If the inmate requested the transfer, the receiving state must try him within 180 days of his arrival. 18 U.S.C. app. II, § 2, art. III(a). If the receiving state requested the transfer, it must try the inmate within 120 days of his arrival. 18 U.S.C. app. II, § 2, art. IV(c).

         The IAD timeline is not absolute and a court, upon good cause showing, may grant any necessary or reasonable continuances. 18 U.S.C. App. II, § 2, article IV(c). This ‘“necessary or reasonable continuance' provision is, by clear implication, the sole means by which the prosecution can obtain an extension of the time limits over the defendant's objection.” Hill, 528 U.S. at 116. The IAD does not define “good cause.” Brown v. Wolff, 706 F.2d 902, 906 (9th Cir. 1983). Nor do the various legislative histories of the original drafting of the IAD by the Joint Committee on Detainers. Id.

         III. ANALYSIS

         Defendant contends that his indictment must be dismissed because he has not been tried within 120 days of the federal government taking custody of him. The Government argues that the IAD does not even apply to Defendant's case because it secured Defendant's transfer by means of a Writ rather than a federal detainer. Defendant counters that interpreting the provisions of the IAD in this manner, creates a loophole that permits the Government to avoid the IAD's strict time limits.

         The Supreme Court addressed this exact issue in United States v. Mauro, 436 U.S. 340 (1978). While warning that the government should not circumvent the IAD by means of a writ, the Court nonetheless ruled that a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, like the one filed in this case, is not a detainer within the meaning of the IAD. Mauro, 436 U.S. at 349. Defendant is not entitled to relief on this ground because he was transferred from Nevada to federal custody in Arizona pursuant to a writ not a federal detainer. See also United States v. Moore, 822 F.2d 35, 37 (8th Cir.1987) (The IAD is inapplicable when the government secures the presence of a state prisoner by means of a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum without filing a detainer.); Baxter v. United States, 966 F.2d 387 (8th Cir.1992) (same).

         Even assuming the IAD applies to this case, the Government argues it has not violated the IAD's stringent 120-day time limit because the trial continuances were based on “good cause” which made it ...


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