United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
REDUCE SENTENCE; DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
TRANSCRIPTS Re Document Nos. 35, 42
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, United States District Judge.
Matthew James Nori pleaded guilty to travel with intent to
engage in illicit sexual conduct pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
2423(b) and is currently serving a 60-month sentence of
imprisonment. Mr. Nori now requests that this Court reduce
his sentence. Because Mr. Nori's request is only
cognizable under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), but does not
qualify for any of the possible grounds of relief under that
section, the Court denies Mr. Nori's motion.
Court only briefly discusses the facts underlying Mr.
Nori's sentence. During several days in 2014, Mr. Nori
engaged in sexually explicit electronic communication with an
undercover police detective (UC). See generally
Statement of Offense, ECF No. 17. These communications
culminated in a plan for Mr. Nori to travel into the District
in order to engage in sex acts with the UC's fictitious
eight-year-old daughter. See generally Statement of
Offense. The electronic communications included texts and
emails, and contained graphic descriptions of sex acts with
children. See generally Statement of Offense. Mr.
Nori received images purporting to be pictures of the
UC's fictitious daughter, Statement of Offense at 3-4, 6,
and sent the UC images, including sexually explicit ones,
Statement of Offense at 4. Mr. Nori and the UC discussed the
sex acts they planned to perform with the UC's purported
daughter, and arranged a time and location to meet. Statement
of Offense at 5-8. At the appointed time, Mr. Nori arrived at
the rendezvous and was arrested. Statement of Offense at 8.
Mr. Nori had a small stuffed animal in a pink gift bag with
him that he planned to give to the UC's purported
daughter. Statement of Offense at 8-9.
his arrest, Mr. Nori pleaded guilty to travel with intent to
engage in illicit sexual conduct in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2423(b). See generally Plea Agreement, ECF
No. 16. Mr. Nori's offense level was 33, leading to a
Guidelines range of 135 to 168 months of imprisonment.
Presentencing Investigation Report at 3-4, ECF No. 24. The
government sought 66 months of imprisonment and 120 months of
supervised release. See generally Gov.'s Memo
Aid Sentencing, ECF No. 26. Mr. Nori sought a sentence of
time served followed by supervised release. See
generally Mr. Nori's Mem. Aid Sentencing, ECF No.
28. This Court sentenced Mr. Nori to 60 months of
imprisonment and 120 months of supervised release. Judgment,
ECF No. 31.
Nori, now pro se, seeks the reduction of that
sentence. See generally Pro Se Mot. Reduce Sentence
(Def.'s Mot.), ECF No. 35; Supplement (Def.'s
Suppl.), ECF No. 35-1. Mr. Nori raises several arguments. First,
Mr. Nori argues that his sentence is disparately harsh when
compared to the sentence of 33 months imprisonment received
by the defendant in a different case, which Mr. Nori asserts
is substantially similar to his case. Def.'s Mot. Second, Mr.
Nori contends that his sentence is too long because he is not
dangerous to the public and supports this by reference to (1)
his “character, ” (2) the opinion of the
pre-trial services officer who evaluated him for pre-trial
detention, (3) his psychological review, (4) the pre-sentence
report, (5) the opinion of the probation officer who
researched the pre-sentence report, and (6) the
prosecutor's statement at the sentencing hearing that he
was “not a predator.” Def.'s Suppl. at 1.
Third, Mr. Nori argues that the prosecutor committed
misconduct by adding an unfounded eight point enhancement to
calculate his offense level (thus increasing the Guidelines
range) after Mr. Nori and the prosecutor had already reached
a different agreement, in retaliation for Mr. Nori retention
of new counsel. Def.'s Suppl. at 1. Fourth, Mr. Nori
argues that the Court relied on Mr. Nori's protected
speech, as described in the sealed addendum to the statement
of offense, see ECF No. 21, to sentence him in
violation of his First Amendment rights. Def.'s Suppl. at
2. In addition to requesting a reduction of his sentence, Mr.
Nori also seeks several other forms of relief.
government opposes Mr. Nori's motion. U.S.'s
Consolidated Opp'n Def.'s Pro Se Motion
(Opp'n), ECF No. 44. The matter is now ripe for
resolution by this Court.
Nori's filings request various forms of relief, including
a reduction in his sentence, an evidentiary hearing, the
removal of his public safety factor, and access to and
discovery of documents. The Court addresses each in turn.
Request for Reduction of Sentence
Nori seeks the reduction of his sentence. The government
argues that Mr. Nori cannot meet any of the narrow grounds
for modification of a sentence of imprisonment, and this
threshold matter, because a court may only modify a sentence
with specific statutory authorization, the Court must
determine which statutory framework controls Mr. Nori's
motion for relief. See Dillon v. United States, 560
U.S. 817, 824 (2010) (“[A] judgment of conviction that
includes [a sentence of imprisonment] constitutes a final
judgment and may not be modified by a district court except
in limited circumstances.”); United States v.
Zaia, 751 F.Supp.2d 132, 134 (D.D.C. 2010)
(“Federal courts do not have inherent authority to
modify a sentence, but may when authorized by
statute.”). Mr. Nori's initial briefing styled
itself as a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255. Def.'s Suppl. at 1. The government
argued that the Court should construe Mr. Nori's motion
in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) instead.
Opp'n at 1 n.1. In his reply, Mr. Nori states that he
“does not contest, and in fact supports” the
government's request “that his motion be
construed” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).
Def.'s Reply at 1. Because the parties agree, the Court
considers Mr. Nori's motion as a motion pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c) permits a court to modify a sentence of
imprisonment only in one of three circumstances: (1) the
Director of the Bureau of Prisons seeks a reduction,
see § 3582(c)(1)(A); (2) Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 35 or another statute permits the
modification, see § 3582(c)(1)(B); or (3) the
Sentencing Commission subsequently lowers the sentencing
range under which the defendant was sentenced, see
§ 3582(c)(2). See generally 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c); cf. United States v. Jones, 83 F.Supp.3d
145, 147 (D.D.C. 2015) (“District courts may modify
sentences only in limited circumstances.”). With this
framework in mind, the Court considers Mr. Nori's motion.
the three permissible grounds which would permit this Court
to reduce Mr. Nori's sentence exist here. First, the
Director of the BOP has not sought a reduction, and §
3582(c)(1)(A) therefore does not apply. Second, the
Sentencing Commission has not lowered the sentencing range
which was applied to Mr. Nori, and § 3582(c)(2)
therefore does not apply. Finally, pursuant to §
3582(c)(1)(B), because Mr. Nori does not identify any