United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
criminal case is before the Court on the defendant's
motion for a reduction of sentence, [Doc. 709]. Defendant
requests a reduction in sentence pursuant 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2) and USSG § 1B1.10 as amended by Amendments
782 and 788 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The
United States has responded and acknowledges the defendant is
eligible for a reduction in sentence, notes the
defendant's numerous sanctions, and defers to the
Court's discretion whether and to what extent to reduce
the defendant's sentence. [Doc. 721].
defendant was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture more
than 5 but less than 50 grams of methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(B). The
defendant was held accountable for an equivalent of 386.4
kilograms of marijuana, resulting in a base offense level of
26. The base offense level was decreased by three levels
pursuant to USSG § 3E1.1(a) & (b) (acceptance of
responsibility), resulting in a total offense level of 23.
The defendant's criminal history category was IV. At the
time of his sentencing, the defendant's advisory
guideline range was 70 to 87 months. Per statute, the
defendant faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months.
The defendant was sentenced to a term of 75 months'
courts are forbidden, as a general matter, to modify a term
of imprisonment once it has been imposed, but the rule of
finality is subject to a few narrow exceptions.”
Freeman v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2685, 2690
(2011) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). Title
18 United States Code § 3582(c)(2), however, gives a
district court authority to modify a term of imprisonment
that has been imposed on a defendant “who has been
sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing
range that has been subsequently lowered by the Sentencing
Commission, ” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), through a
retroactively applicable amendment such as Amendment 782.
Id.; USSG § 1B1.10. The Court may reduce the
term, “after considering the factors set forth in
§ 3553(a) to the extent they are applicable, if such a
reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements
issued by the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). Section 1B1.10 identifies the guideline
amendments that may be applied retroactively, and sets out
the factors for deciding a sentence reduction motion under
§ 3582(c). The Supreme Court has made clear that §
3582 does not require a sentencing or resentencing
proceeding, but gives courts the power to reduce an otherwise
final sentence under circumstances established by the
Sentencing Commission. Dillon v. United States, 560
U.S. 817 (2010); United States v. Curry, 606 F.3d
323, 330 (6th Cir. 2010); USSG § 1B1.10, cmt. background
(noting that a reduction under § 1B1.10 is discretionary
and “does not entitle a defendant to a reduced term of
imprisonment as a matter of right”).
3582(c)(2) establishes a two-step inquiry: First, the court
must determine whether the defendant is eligible for a
sentence reduction. If he is, the court must then consider
whether, in its discretion, the authorized reduction is
warranted in whole or in part under the circumstances.
Dillon, 130 S.Ct. at 2691-92; United States v.
Greenwood, 521 Fed. App'x 544, 547 (6th Cir. 2013).
In exercising its discretion, the court is required to
consider public safety factors and is permitted to consider
post-sentencing conduct in deciding whether a reduction in
the defendant's term of imprisonment is warranted. USSG
§ 1B1.10, cmt. (n. 1(B)(ii)-(iii)). Thus, the district
court is required to consider both the § 3553(a) factors
and “the nature and seriousness of the danger to any
person or the community that may be posed by a reduction in
defendant's term of imprisonment.” Curry,
606 F.3d at 330 (quoting USSG § 1B1.10, cmt. n.
to Amendment 782, an equivalent quantity of 386.4 kilograms
of marijuana yields a base offense level of 24, with a
three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, for a
total offense level of 21. When combined with the
defendant's criminal history category of IV, the
defendant's amended guideline range is 57 to 71
months' imprisonment. However, because the defendant
faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months'
imprisonment, the restricted guideline range is 60 to 71
months' imprisonment. Because the amended guideline range
is below the original guideline range, the defendant is
eligible for a sentence reduction. In his motion, the
defendant does not request a specific amended sentence. The
Court concludes that no reduction is appropriate in this case
and the motion for sentence reduction is DENIED for the
reasons stated below.
important factor in the Court's determination is the
defendant's post-sentencing conduct. The defendant's
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) disciplinary record
indicates that the defendant has been sanctioned on multiple
occasions. Some of these sanctions were for serious
violations of the prison regulations. On February 3, 2015,
the defendant was found with narcotics and a syringe. On
November 8, 2015, the defendant possessed unauthorized
prescription medication. On May 26, 2014 and May 30, 2014,
the defendant was sanctioned for stealing. On December 5,
2016, the defendant was sanctioned for being in an
defendant's continued history of disciplinary infractions
and his disregard for prison regulations indicate a high risk
of recidivism and disregard for the law. The defendant's
multiple sanctions for drug possession while in the custody
of the BOP is especially concerning given that the defendant
is currently incarcerated on a drug conviction. Of note is
that one of these drug sanctions occurred while his current
motion was pending, indicating to the Court that the
defendant is not taking some needed steps to change his
behavior to prepare for release. Consideration of the 18
U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors leads to the ...