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United States v. Haire

United States District Court, D. Columbia

October 1, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JOHN HAIRE, Defendant

         Decided September 30, 2015.

          JOHN HAIRE, Defendant, Pro se, Montgomery, AL.

         For JOHN HAIRE, Defendant: Danielle Courtney Jahn, LEAD ATTORNEY, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR D.C., Washington, DC; Michael Bhargava, LEAD ATTORNEY, CHADBOURNE & PARKE, LLP, Washington, DC.

         For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff: Carolyn K. Kolben, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Special Proceedings, Washington, DC; Barry Wiegand, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Special Proceedings Section, Washington, DC.

         MEMORANDUM OPINION

         Royce C. Lamberth, United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is defendant Haire's motion [190], seeking a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and based upon the retroactive application of Amendment 782 to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. After considering the motion, the entire record herein, and the applicable law, the Court will GRANT defendant Haire's motion, reducing his prison sentence to time served effective November 1, 2015.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 22, 2001, a jury found defendant Haire guilty of one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Five Kilograms or More of Cocaine and one count of Conspiracy to Import Five Kilograms or More of Cocaine. After receiving a sentencing enhancement for possessing a dangerous weapon in connection with the offense, Judge James Robertson sentenced defendant Haire to

Page 2

240 months, with credit for time served, in federal prison beginning January 25, 2002.

         On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission submitted to Congress Amendment 782 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, proposing a downward revision to the applicable sentencing ranges for drug trafficking offenses. The Commission then passed Amendment 788 to allow Amendment 782's revisions to be applied retroactively. On November 1, 2014, Amendment 782 and its retroactive application became effective; however, the Commission has required that any sentence reduction based on these amendments not take effect until November 1, 2015.

         DISCUSSION

         To grant a motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), two conditions must be separately met: the prisoner must be eligible for the requested reduction and early release must be " warranted." Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 827, 130 S.Ct. 2683, 177 L.Ed.2d 271 (2010). In this case, Amendment 782's retroactive application makes defendant Haire eligible for early release, clearing the statute's first hurdle and authorizing his release as soon as November 1, 2015.

         In addition to his eligibility, defendant Haire's reduced sentence is also warranted. In determining if a sentence reduction is warranted, § 3582(c)(2) instructs courts to consider the applicable 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. Id. at 827. The first § 3553(a) factor, the " nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant" has a mixed impact on this inquiry. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1). On one hand, defendant Haire on his own initiative traveled abroad to procure and import kilograms of cocaine. PSR ¶ ¶ 7-9, Jan. 7, 2002. Moreover, guns were used in connection with the underlying crime, which resulted in a two-level sentence enhancement. Needless to say, these two facts weigh against a finding that early release is warranted. On the other hand, " no role adjustments [were] warranted," meaning defendant Haire did not manage or supervise ...


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