United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division
ORDER REGARDING MOTION FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION PURSUANT TO 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)
LINDA R. READE, Chief District Judge
This matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion to reduce sentence (docket no. 258). The defendant filed such motion on December 10, 2014.
The United States Sentencing Commission recently revised the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("USSG") applicable to drug trafficking offenses by changing how the base offense levels in the drug quantity tables incorporate the statutory mandatory minimum penalties for such offenses. Specifically, Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) generally reduces by two levels the offense levels assigned to the quantities that trigger the statutory mandatory minimum penalties in USSG §2D1.1 and made parallel changes to USSG §2D1.11. Because Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) alters the threshold amounts in the drug quantity tables in USSG §2D1.1 and USSG §2D1.11, many, but not all, drug quantities will have a base offense level that is two levels lower than before Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)).
The court is statutorily precluded from applying a federal sentencing guideline amendment retroactively unless the United States Sentencing Commission designates an amendment for retroactive application. In relevant part, 18 U.S.C. § 3582 provides:
The court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed except that... in the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. [§] 994(o), upon motion of the defendant or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, or on its own motion, the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after considering the factors set forth in [18 U.S.C. §] 3553(a) to the extent that 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); see also Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 826 (2010) ("Section 3582(c)(2)'s text, together with its narrow scope, shows that Congress intended to authorize only a limited adjustment to an otherwise final sentence and not a plenary resentencing proceeding."); United States v. Auman, 8 F.3d 1268, 1271 (8th Cir. 1993) ("Section 3582(c)(2) is a provision that permits a district court to reduce a term of imprisonment if the sentencing range upon which the term was based is subsequently lowered by the Sentencing Commission.").
The United States Sentencing Commission promulgated USSG §1.B1.10 to implement 28 U.S.C. § 994(u) and to provide guidance to a court when considering a motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). In relevant part, USSG §1B1.10 states:
In a case in which a defendant is serving a term of imprisonment, and the guideline range applicable to that defendant has subsequently been lowered as a result of an amendment to the Guidelines Manual listed in subsection (d) below, the court may reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). As required by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), any such reduction in the defendant's term of imprisonment shall be consistent with this policy statement.
USSG §1B1.10(a)(1); see also USSG §1B1.10, comment. (n.1) ("Eligibility for consideration under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) is triggered only by an amendment listed in subsection (d) that lowers the applicable guideline range...."). In addition to specifying which federal sentencing guidelines may be retroactively applied, USSG §1B1.10 guides the court as to the amount by which a sentence may be reduced under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). See USSG §1B1.10(b)(1).
On July 18, 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission unanimously voted to apply Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) retroactively to most drug trafficking offenses, and it set November 1, 2014 as the date that Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) would go into effect. Stated differently, Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) is included within subsection (d) of USSG §1B1.10. Consequently, under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and USSG §1B1.10, the court may rely on Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) to reduce a defendant's sentence. But, even if Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) is applicable, a special limiting instruction applies: "The court shall not order a reduced term of imprisonment based on Amendment 782 unless the effective date of the court's order is November 1, 2015, or later." USSG §1B1.10(e)(1); see also Amendment 788 (amending USSG §1B1.10).
Here, the court is unable to rely on Amendment 782 (subject to subsection (e)(1)) to reduce the defendant's sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and USSG §1B1.10. See generally United States v. Curry, 584 F.3d 1102, 1104 (8th Cir. 2009) (discussing United States v. Wyatt, 115 F.3d 606, 608-09 (8th Cir. 1997)) (explaining requirements under USSG §1B1.10(b)). The court originally determined the defendant to be a career offender and sentenced the defendant to 188 months imprisonment. On May 28, 2014, the court revoked the defendant's supervised release. The court ordered the defendant to serve 36 months in prison. In his motion, the defendant acknowledges that the court revoked his supervised release and he is no longer serving a term of imprisonment. "[T]he statutory authorization for a term of supervised release is distinct from the authorization for a prison term." See United States v. Postley, 449 F.3d 831, 833 (8th Cir. 2006). Further, the court must apply the commentary to USSG §1B1.10. In relevant part, the commentary provides: "[o]nly a term of imprisonment imposed as part of the original sentence is authorized to be reduced under [USSG §1B1.10]. [USSG §1B1.10] does not authorize a reduction in the term of imprisonment imposed upon revocation of supervised release." USSG §1B1.10 comment. (n.7(A)). In light of the commentary to USSG §1B1.10, application of Amendment 750 (Parts A and C only) does not reduce the defendant's sentence. Accordingly, the court concludes that a reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and USSG §1B1.10 is not warranted. To the extent that the defendant wants the court to rely on 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) to modify the term of supervised release that it previously ordered to be served after he completes his term imprisonment, the court declines to do so. See 18 U.S.C. §3583(e) (permitting modification of conditions or revocation).
Because a reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and USSG §1B1.10 is not justified, the defendant's motion to reduce sentence (docket no. 258) is denied. The clerk's office is directed to send a copy of this order to the defendant, the office of the Federal Public Defender, the ...