MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The record reflects that in May of 1996, officers with the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department received information that petitioner William E. Packard, Jr., ("Packard") was manufacturing methamphetamine at a mobile home in the area. On the basis of that information, the officers obtained a warrant to search the mobile home. The officers subsequently conducted a search of the mobile home and uncovered, inter alia, components of a methamphetamine laboratory; numerous firearms, including a rocket launcher; and identification documents belonging to Packard.*fn1
In January of 2000, Packard was charged by indictment in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas with the following offenses: (1) attempt to manufacture a controlled substance (methamphetamine), (2) conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and (3) possession of a chemical with the intent to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine). In June of 2000, he pleaded guilty to the three offenses. In September of 2000, he was sentenced by United States District Judge Carlos Murguia to three concurrent 180 month terms of imprisonment in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). Packard was committed to the custody of the BOP in December of 2000.*fn2
Upon Packard's entry into the custody of the BOP, Daniel R. Severson ("Severson"), a BOP Paralegal Specialist, represents that the following occurred:
... [BOP] staff initiated the classification process to determine the appropriate level [of] correctional facility to designate ... Packard [to] for service of his federal sentence. Review of the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report pertaining to ... Packard's current criminal conduct revealed law enforcement officials found numerous firearms (including a ROCKET LAUNCHER) while conducting a search of [the mobile home]. ...
At the conclusion of the classification process, ... Packard was given a Custody Classification Score of low security with in custody. However, based upon ... Packard's documented history of weapons possession, he was assigned a Greater Security Management Variable. ...
See Document 4, Declaration of Daniel R. Severson at 2. The BOP staff assigned Packard a Greater Security Management Variable pursuant to the provisions of BOP Program Statement ("PS") 5100.07, which was adopted in September of 1999. See Document 4, Attachment 5.*fn3 He subsequently came to be housed in the specific custody of respondent Linda Sanders ("Sanders") at the Federal Correctional Complex - Low Security Institution in Forrest City, Arkansas ("FCC Forrest City").
At some point, Packard began an attempt to have the Greater Security Management Variable removed from his Custody Classification Score so that he could transfer to a minimum security, or "camp," facility. It was, and continues to be, his position that the mobile home was never his residence; that the firearms found inside the mobile home did not belong to him; that he was never charged with possessing the firearms; that other prisoners convicted of firearm-related offenses, or having firearm notations in their Pre-Sentence Investigative Reports, have received transfers to "camp" facilities; and that he has maintained an excellent institutional record. He first sought informal discussion and resolution of his complaint with the staff at FCC Forrest City as required by the BOP grievance procedure. In December of 2005, a prison counselor and the acting unit manager provided Packard with the following response to his complaint:
A review of this matter reveals the following. On December 14, 2004, you were submitted for camp placement at FCC Forrest City and denied by the Warden. You were again denied camp placement at SCP Leavenworth by the South Central Regional Office on June 3, 2005, because of weapons involvement. According to your Presentence Investigation Report, Officers found numerous firearms including a rocket launcher at a residence which contained identification documents that belong to you. Because of these recent denials, your Unit Team is not recommending camp placement at this time. ...
See Document 1, Exhibit A, Response of D.M. Wilson and Mike Danaher dated December 21, 2005.
Packard next formally complained to officials at FCC Forrest City. In January of 2006, Sanders rejected his complaint and provided him with the following reason for her decision:
A review of this matter reveals the following. On December 14, 2004, you were submitted for camp placement at FCC Forrest City and denied due to weapons involvement in your current offense behavior. On June 3, 2005, you were again denied camp placement by the South Central Regional Office, because of weapons involvement. According to your Presentence Investigation Report, officers found numerous firearms including a rocket launcher at a residence where identification belonging to you was located. Additionally, you express concerns regarding other inmates with weapons violations who have been approved for Camp placement. Inmates who are approved for community corrections placement and are nearing release may be approved for intermediate camp placement despite their weapons' offenses. You do not qualify for intermediate camp placement as your release date is November 24, 2012, via Good Conduct Time Release. Based on this information, your Unit Team is not recommending camp placement at this time.
See Document 1, Exhibit B, Response of Linda Sanders dated January 19, 2006.
Packard appealed the denial of his complaint to a BOP Regional Director. In March of 2006, Regional Director G. Maldonado, Jr., rejected Packard's complaint and provided him with the following explanation:
We have thoroughly reviewed your appeal. Program Statement 5100.07, Security Designation and Custody Classification, states the intent of the security and custody classification system is to allow staff to use professional judgment within specific guidelines to determine the most appropriate institution assignment for an inmate. The system allows staff to ensure all characteristics of an inmate's case are considered in decisions regarding security and custody classification. In determining an inmate's appropriateness for transfer to a minimum security Camp ...