United States District Court, District of Columbia
L. FRIEDMAN, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the pro se motion [Dkt No.
1593] of defendant David Wilson to reduce his sentence
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) based on Amendment
782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Upon careful
consideration of the parties" written submissions, the
relevant legal authorities, and the relevant portions of the
record, the Court will grant the motion.
case was originally assigned to Judge Richard W. Roberts, who
presided over the trial of Mr. Wilson and his co-defendants
in 2007. In November 2007. the jury found Mr. Wilson guilty
of two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree murder,
seven counts of distributing crack cocaine, and one count of
using a communications facility in relation to a narcotics
offense. See United States v. Bell, 795 F.3d 88, 92
(D.C. Cir. 2015).
before Mr. Wilson was sentenced, the United States Sentencing
Commission promulgated temporary emergency amendments to the
Sentencing Guidelines with an effective date of November 1,
2010. See U.S.S.G. app. C, amend. 748 (Supp. Nov. 1, 2010);
75 Fed. Reg. 66188, 66188-93 (Oct. 27, 2010). Prior to the
emergency amendments, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base was the
threshold between offense level 34 ("At least 500 G but
less than 1.5 KG") and offense level 36 ("At least
1.5 KG but less than 4.5 KG"). See U.S.S.G. § 2D
1.1(c) (2010). After the emergency amendments, 2.8 kilograms
of cocaine base was the threshold between offense level 34
("At least 840 G but less than 2.8 KG") and offense
level 36 ("At least 2.8 KG but less than 8.4 KG").
See U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(c) (Supp. Nov. 1, 2010).
Roberts sentenced Mr. Wilson on March 11, 2011, four months
after the emergency amendments went into effect. He found Mr.
Wilson responsible for "at least 1.5 kilos" of
cocaine base, resulting in a base offense level of 34. See
Sentencing Tr. at 13-14; Id. at 10 ("The
amounts of crack attributable to all those distributions in
furtherance of the agreement exceeded 1.5 kilograms and was
reasonably foreseeable to the defendant. Under the 2010
guidelines, though, that would establish a base offense
level of 34. not 36.") (emphasis added); see also
United States v. Wyche, 741 F.3d 1284, 1292 (D.C.
Cir. 2014) ("Under the Sentencing Guidelines, the
district court determines a defendant's base offense
level - and, ultimately, his guideline range - by delineating
his relevant conduct.") (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). With a total offense level of 34 and a
criminal history category of I, Mr. Wilson's applicable
Guideline range for his drug distribution convictions was 151
to 188 months. Judge Roberts sentenced Mr. Wilson at the top
of that range to 188 months in prison for each drug
distribution count, those sentences to run concurrently. See
Judgment at 3. Judge Roberts also sentenced Mr. Wilson to 48
months in prison for his communications facility conviction,
that sentence to run concurrently to the drug sentences. See
]d. In addition, Judge Roberts sentenced Mr. Wilson to 360
months to life in prison under the District of Columbia Code
for each murder conviction, those sentences to run
concurrently to each other and consecutively to the other
sentences. See Id. at 4. The D.C. Circuit affirmed
Mr. Wilson's convictions in July 2015. See United
States v. Bell, 795 F.3d at 91.
case was reassigned to the undersigned in April 2016. On
December 21, 2016, Mr. Wilson filed the instant motion - a
pro se motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2) based on Amendment 782 to the Sentencing
Guidelines. Mr. Wilson later supplemented his
motion through counsel. Amendment 782 reduced by two levels
the base offense levels for certain controlled substance
offenses. See U.S.S.G. app. C, amends. 782 (reduction), 788
(making Amendment 782 retroactive). Prior to Amendment 782, a
drug quantity of at least 840 grams but less than 2.8
kilograms of cocaine base carried an offense level of 34;
after the amendment, the same amount fell to an offense level
of 32. As noted, Mr. Wilson's total offense level of 34
and criminal history category of I yielded a Guideline range
of 151 to 188 months at the time of sentencing. A two-level
reduction to offense level 32 would result in a revised
Guideline range of 121 to 151 months. Mr. Wilson asks the
Court to reduce his sentence from 188 months to 121 months,
the bottom of the revised Guideline range.
may modify a defendant's sentence if the defendant
"has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a
sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the
Sentencing Commission." 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). A
court considering a Section 3582(c)(2) motion is to engage in
a limited, two-step inquiry. First, the court must determine
whether the defendant is eligible for a sentence
modification. To do so, the court must determine "the
amended guidelines range that would have been applicable to
the defendant" had the relevant amendment been in effect
at the time of the initial sentencing. United States v.
Wyche, 741 F.3d at 1292 (quoting Dillon v. United
States, 560 U.S. 817, 827 (2010)). Second, if the
defendant is eligible for a sentence modification, the court
must consider any applicable factors under 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a) and determine whether, in its discretion, a reduction
in the defendant's sentence is "warranted in whole
or in part under the particular circumstances of the
case." United States v. Wyche, 741 F.3d at 1292
(quoting Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. at 827)).
The court is to consider the Section 3553(a) factors "to
the extent that they are applicable" and determine if
the sentence reduction is "consistent with applicable
policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission."
See 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).
Mr. Wilson is Eligible for a Sentence Reduction
Court must first determine the amended Guideline range that
would have been applicable if Amendment 782 had been in
effect when Mr. Wilson was sentenced in March 2011. At
sentencing, Judge Roberts found Mr. Wilson responsible for
"at least 1.5 kilos" of cocaine base, resulting in
a base offense level of 34 and a Guideline range of 151 to
188 months. See Sentencing Tr. at 13-14. Based on a drug
quantity of at least 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base, Mr.
Wilson argues that Amendment 782 now puts him at an offense
level of 32 and a Guideline range of 121 to 151 months. See
Mot. at 3. He asks the Court to reduce his sentence from 188
months to 121 months, the bottom of the revised Guideline
range. See Reply at 2.
United States responds that Judge Roberts did not make a
specific drug quantity finding at sentencing; he found only
that Mr. Wilson was responsible for "at least" 1.5
kilograms of cocaine base. See Opp'n at 1. The United
States asks the Court to make a new, more precise drug
quantity finding in order to determine Mr. Wilson's
applicable Guideline range. See Id. at 4. It
maintains that any such factual inquiry would likely result
in a finding that Mr. Wilson was responsible for at least 2.8
kilograms of cocaine base, which would put him at an offense
level of 34 and a Guideline range of 151 to 188 months under
the current Guidelines. See Id. Mr.
Wilson's applicable Guideline range therefore would
remain the same and he would be ineligible for a sentence
reduction. See id.
order to determine the defendant's amended guideline
range for a drug-related offense, the resentencing court must
determine the drug quantity attributable to the
defendant." United States v. Wyche, 741 F.3d at
1293. "If the original sentencing court failed to make a
specific drug-quantity calculation, the resentencing court
may have to make its own quantity finding in order to
determine the defendant's guideline range."
Id. But the resentencing court's drug quantity
finding "cannot be inconsistent with factual