United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION [DKT. # 321]
RICHARD J. LEON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant Patrick Yansane's motion to reduce
his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) based on
Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines,
Def.'s Mot. to Reduce Sentence ("Def.'s
Mot.") [Dkt. # 32], which the Government opposed,
see Gov't's Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. to
Reduce Sentence ("Gov't's Opp'n") [Dkt.
# 34]. Upon consideration of the parties' pleadings, the
relevant law, and the entire record herein, the Court DENIES
February 16, 2007, Patrick Yansane pleaded guilty to one
count of unlawful possession with intent to distribute 50
grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(l)(A)(iii). See Minute
Entry (Feb. 16, 2007); Plea Agreement ¶ 1 [Dkt. #9]. In
his plea agreement, Yansane acknowledged he was accountable
for at least 150 grams but less than 500 grams of crack, Plea
Agreement ¶ 2, and in the factual proffer accompanying
his plea he specifically admitted to possessing 173.1 grams
of crack, see Gov't's Submission to the Ct.
in Preparation for the Upcoming Plea Hr'g of Patrick M.
Yansane 3-4 [Dkt. #8]. At the time I sentenced him, on March 6,
2008, an offense involving at least 150 grams but less than
500 grams of crack cocaine carried a base offense level of
32, see U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual
("U.S.S.G.") § 2D 1.1 (c)(4) (2007) (Drug
Quantity Table), and the statutory mandatory minimum sentence
for offenses involving 50 grams or more of crack was 120
months in prison, see 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(l)(A)(iii) (2006). At sentencing, I determined that
the applicable guideline sentencing range was 151 to 188
months, based on an offense level of 32 and a criminal
history category of III,  and I sentenced him to 188 months, at
the high end of that range. See Minute Entry (Mar.
6, 2008); Judgment [Dkt. #19]; Statement of Reasons [Dkt. #
22]; Sentencing Tr. (Mar. 6, 2008) at 24, 33; U.S.S.G. ch. 5,
pt. A (Sentencing Table) (2007).
Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
("FSA"), Pub. L. No. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372, which
reduced the statutory mandatory minimum sentences applicable
to certain quantities of crack. Pursuant to the FSA, the U.S.
Sentencing Commission amended the guidelines to reduce the
base offense levels for quantities of crack. See
U.S.S.G. App. C, Vol. Ill. Amends. 748 (2010), 750 (2011).
The Commission also determined that the new base offense
levels should apply retroactively in sentence reduction
proceedings under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). See
Id. Amend. 759 (2011). Thereafter, on June 7, 2012,
defendant filed a motion to reduce his prison sentence under
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) based on Amendment 750, as well
as Congress' enactment of the FSA. On July 23, 2014, 1
issued a Memorandum Order granting defendant's motion in
part and shortened the prison term from 188 to 151
months. Mem. Order (July 23, 2014) [Dkt. #31].
November 1, 2014, the Sentencing Commission amended and
lowered the base offense levels by two points for nearly all
drug offenses pursuant to Amendment 782. See
U.S.S.G., Supp. to App. C, Amend. 782 (Nov. 1, 2014).
Amendment 782 reduces Yansane's total offense level by
two points. Currently before this Court is defendant's
motion to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2) based on Amendment 782. See Def.'s
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), a defendant may move for a
reduction in his sentence if he was sentenced "based on
a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the
Sentencing Commission." Id. The Court's
power to reduce a sentence is discretionary. See id.;
United States v. Kennedy, 722 F.3d 439, 442 (D.C. Cir.
2013). "A section 3582(c)(2) proceeding is not a plenary
resentencing proceeding, nor is it a license for the
defendant to re-litigate his sentence wholesale or challenge
previously adjudicated aspects of his conviction."
United States v. Wyche, 741 F.3d 1284, 1292 (D.C.
Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
Accordingly, in evaluating such a motion, this Court conducts
only "a limited, two-step inquiry." Id.
(citing Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817,
826-27 (2010)). First, I must "determine the
prisoner's eligibility for a sentence modification and
the extent of the reduction authorized" by
"'determin[ing] the amended guideline range that
would have been applicable to the defendant' had the
relevant amendment been in effect at the time of the initial
sentencing." Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827 (quoting
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(b)(1) (brackets in original)). Next,
if the defendant is eligible, I must then "consider any
applicable § 3553(a) factors and determine whether, in
[my] discretion, the reduction authorized by reference to the
policies relevant at step one is warranted in whole or in
part under the particular circumstances of the case."
Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827.
23, 2014, 1 issued a Memorandum Order granting in part
defendant's previous motion to reduce his sentence
pursuant to Amendment 750, which reduced base offense levels
for quantities of crack. See Mem. Order (July 23,
2014); U.S.S.G. App. C, Vol. Ill. Amends. 748 (2010), 750
(2011), and 759 (2011). At the time of the requested
reduction, the effective amended guideline range was 120 to
121 months. See U.S.S.G. § 5G1.1. While the
statute authorized a potential reduction in sentence to as
low as 120 months, I determined a smaller reduction was
appropriate and shortened the prison term from 188 to 151
months in prison.
as before, it is undisputed that Yansane is eligible for a
sentence reduction, this time pursuant to Amendment 782. It
also remains undisputed, however, that any reduction may not
result in a sentence lower than the 120-month statutory
mandatory minimum sentence that was in force on the date I
sentenced him. See Gov't's Opp'n at
10-14; Def.'s Mot. for Hr'g on Def.'s Mot. to
Reduce Sentence [Dkt. # 30] at 1; United States v.
Swangin, 726 F.3d 205, 206-07 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (holding
that FSA's lower mandatory minimums do not apply
retroactively in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) proceedings).
must determine whether to reduce defendant's sentence any
further, to as low as 120 months. For the following reasons,
I find that no further reduction is warranted.
issue here is Amendment 782, under which the Sentencing
Commission amended and lowered the base offense levels by two
points for nearly all drug offenses, effective November 1,
2014. See U.S.S.G., Suppl. to App. C, Amend. 782
(Nov. 1, 2014). This broad reaching amendment differs from
the two earlier rounds of amendments to U.S.S.G. § 2D
1.1 that were limited to offenses involving crack cocaine
base only, including Amendment 750, the basis for
defendant's previous sentence reduction motion.
See Gov't's Opp'n 3.
782 reduces the sentencing guideline range applicable to
Yansane to 120 months. Under the current system,
defendant's conviction of the crime of possession with
intent to distribute crack cocaine base would be subject to a
guideline range based upon a total offense level of 26 and
Criminal History Category III, or a range of 78-97 months in
prison. See U.S.S.G. § 2D 1.1 (c)(7) (2016)
(Drug Quantity Table). Both parties correctly observe that
the 173.1 grams of crack cocaine base for which defendant is
accountable would carry a five-year mandatory-minimum term if
he were convicted today, see 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A), (B)(iii), but acknowledge that the Court lacks
authority to sentence defendant to a prison term shorter than
120 months, the applicable statutory minimum prison term at
the time of his original conviction and thus the effective
guideline range here. See Def.'s Mot. 3;
Gov't's Opp'n 4; see also Swangin, 726
F.3d at 206-07.
determined the applicable guideline range to be 120 months, I
must determine whether any further reduction to Yansane's
151-month sentence "is warranted . . . under the
particular circumstances of th[is] case."
Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827. I conclude it is not. As
before, in making this discretionary determination I must
consider the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a),
see 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), as well as "the
nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the
community that may be posed by a reduction in the
defendant's term of imprisonment, " U.S.S.G. §
IB 1.10 Commentary, Application Note l(B)(ii). Although the
legal basis for the reduction request has changed, the
120-month floor remains unchanged and my evaluation of the
§ 3553(a) factors and public safety leads me to ...