United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Lamberth United States District Judge.
the Court is defendant Jamie Medina's motion  to
reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).
This motion is based on Amendment 782 to the United States
Sentencing Guidelines and must be analyzed under the
"two step inquiry" set forth in Dillon v.
United States, 560 U.S. 817 (2010). Under
Dillon's test, the Court must first determine if
Mr. Medina is eligible for a sentence reduction under §
3582(c)(2) and then determine whether or a not such a
reduction is warranted according to the factors enumerated in
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). After considering Mr. Medina's
motion, the record in this case, and the applicable law, the
Court will DENY Mr. Medina's motion because he is
ineligible for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. §
August 1, 2006 a Grand Jury filed a six-count indictment
against Mr. Medina and several co-defendants, charging them
with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 5 kilograms or
more of cocaine and for distributing 5 kilograms or more of
cocaine. See Presentence Report (PSR) ¶ 2, ECF
No. 319. On December 3, 2009, Mr. Medina pled guilty to Count
One of the indictment (conspiracy) and entered into a plea
agreement in which the parties agreed that Mr. Medina was
accountable for at least 150 kg of cocaine, resulting in a
base offense level of 38. See Plea Agreement
¶¶ 1, 7, ECF No. 283. The government agreed that a
two level reduction for acceptance of responsibility was
warranted, but stated that it would recommend that Mr. Medina
be given a four level increase for his role as an organizer,
manager, supervisor, or leader of the conspiracy, resulting
in a total offense level of 40. Id. ¶¶
10-11. An offense level of 40, with a criminal history
category of I, resulted in a Guidelines range of 292-365
months imprisonment, see PSR ¶ 65, but the
parties entered into a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) agreement, agreeing
that a sentence of 180 months imprisonment was appropriate,
Plea Agreement ¶ 9. On April 9, 2010, this Court entered
a judgment against Mr. Medina and sentenced him to 180 months
imprisonment and 60 months of supervised release.
See Judgment, ECF No. 329.
December 12, 2014, Mr. Medina filed a pro se motion for a
sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)
and Amendment 782 to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. On April
30, 2014, the Sentencing Commission submitted to Congress
Amendment 782, proposing a downward revision to sentencing
ranges for drug trafficking offenses (sometimes referred to
as "all drugs minus two"), and Amendment 788 which
allows for the retroactive application of Amendment 782.
Amendments 782 and 788 became effective on November 1, 2014.
The policy statement regarding Amendment 782 is contained in
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10. Amendment 782 is applicable to Mr.
Medina's offense. See Re-Sentencing Memorandum,
ECF No. 369. The imprisonment range under the original
Guidelines calculations for Mr. Medina's offense was
292-365 months, considering a total offense level of 40.
Id. After Amendment 782, Mr. Medina's total
offense level was reduced to 38 and the revised Guidelines
range is now 235-293 months. Id. Therefore, Mr.
Medina argues that he is eligible for a reduction in his
may modify terms of imprisonment once they have been imposed
when "a defendant.. . 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)... after considering the factors
set forth in section 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). Courts follow a two-step
approach when determining whether a sentence reduction is
warranted under § 3582(c). Dillon, 560 U.S. at
826. First, the court determines whether a defendant is
eligible for a sentence reduction and to what extent, then
determines whether a reduction is warranted considering the
§ 3553(a) factors. Id. at 826-27.
that he is eligible for a sentence reduction, the defendant
must show that "his sentence was 'based on' a
subsequently-lowered guideline range, [and that] that the
sentence reduction he seeks is consistent with U.S.S.G.
§ 1B1.10, the policy statement governing §
3582(c)(2) proceedings." In re Sealed Case, 722
F.3d 361, 366 (D.C. Cir. 2013). In certain cases, the parties
may enter into what is known as a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea,
under which they "agree that a specific sentence or
sentencing range is the appropriate disposition of the case,
or that a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines,
or policy statement, or sentencing factor does or does not
apply." Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C). In cases where an
11(c)(1)(C) plea is present, "a sentence is 'based
on' a guideline range 'to whatever extent' that
range 'was a relevant part of the analytic framework the
judge used to determine the sentence or to approve the
agreement.'" In re Sealed Case, 722 F.3d at
365 (quoting Freeman v. United States, 564 U.S. 522,
530 (2011)). To determine the extent of the relevance of the
guidelines range, "the focus ... ought to be on the
reasons given by the district court for accepting the
sentence that it ultimately imposed, not on the parties'
agreement." United States v. Epps, 707 F.3d
337, 351 (D.C. Cir. 2013). Courts look at the following three
pieces of evidence when making this determination:
"sentencing hearings, plea hearings, and the text of the
plea agreement." United States v.
Aguilar-Vargas, 209 F.Supp.3d 139, 143 (D.D.C. 2016)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
defendant has shown that his sentence was "based
on" a subsequently amended guidelines ranges, the court
"'determin[es] 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)). Under U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10,
"the court shall not reduce the defendant's term of
imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) and this policy
statement to a term that is less than the minimum of the
amended guideline range." U.S.S.G. § IB
1.10(b)(2)(A). One exception exists: "[i]f the term of
imprisonment imposed was less than the term of imprisonment
provided by the guideline range applicable to the defendant
at the time of sentencing pursuant to a government motion to
reflect the defendant's substantial assistance to
authorities, a reduction comparably less than the amended
guideline range . . . maybe appropriate." Id.
§ IB 1.10(b)(2)(B).
Court concludes that Mr. Medina is not eligible for a
reduction in his sentence. As noted, Mr. Medina entered into
a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement, which does not necessarily
preclude his motion. See In re Sealed Case, 722 F.3d
at 365. However, Mr. Medina's motion is precluded by
U.S.S.G. § IB 1.10(b)(2)(A). Although Mr. Medina's
original Guidelines range, based on a total offense level of
40, was 292-365 months, Mr. Medina was sentenced to 180
months imprisonment. The revised range as changed by
Amendment 782 is 235-293 months. The Court may not reduce Mr.
Medina's term of imprisonment, which is already
"less than the minimum of the amended guidelines
range." U.S.S.G. § IB 1.10(b)(2)(A). Reducing an
already below amended Guidelines sentence of 180 months to a
an even lower sentence is precluded by §
1B1.10(b)(2)(A). In addition, the exception for substantial
assistance does not apply. See U.S.SG. § IB
1.10(b)(2)(B). The government in this case did not file a
5K1.1 motion for downward departure due to substantial
assistance from the defendant. In the Statement of Reasons, the
Court noted that it was departing downward because of the
11(c)(1)(C) agreement, not because of a 5K1.1 agreement based
on substantial assistance. See Statement of Reasons
at 2, ECF No. 330. Therefore, Mr. Medina is not eligible for
a reduction of his sentence and his motion fails step one
reasons stated above, Mr. Medina's motion to reduce his