United States District Court, District of Columbia
S. HUVELLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is defendant Damien Williams' pro se
“Motion for 2 Point Reduction of Federal Sentence Under
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).” (Def.'s Mot., Mar.
28, 2019, ECF No. 43.) For the reasons stated herein, the
motion is denied.
was convicted in 2011 of one count of unlawful distribution
of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(B)(iii). (See Judgment, Sept.
6, 2011, ECF No. 18.) At sentencing, the Court determined
that defendant was a career offender under § 4B1.1 of
the Sentencing Guidelines, which resulted in an offense level
of 31, a Criminal History Category of VI, and a sentencing
range of 188 to 235 months imprisonment. However, pursuant to
a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement, the Court imposed a
sentence of 144 months imprisonment. (Id. at 2;
Amended Plea Agreement, ECF No. 14.)
a sentencing court “may not modify a term of
imprisonment once it has been imposed.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c). However, § 3582(c) sets forth a limited
number of exceptions to that general rule, and §
3582(c)(2) allows a court to reduce a term of imprisonment
“in the case of a defendant who 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.” Id. § 3582(c)(2)
2014, defendant filed his first motion pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2). (See Def.'s Mot. for
Reduction of Sentence, Dec. 3, 2014, ECF No. 32.) The motion
sought a reduced term of imprisonment in light of the
Sentencing Commission's adoption of Amendment 782, which
retroactively lowered the base offense levels for most drug
offenses, as set forth in § 2D1.1 of the Guidelines.
These reduced offense levels, in turn, resulted in lower
sentencing ranges. The Court denied the motion because even
though defendant was convicted of a drug offense, his
“sentencing range” was determined by the career
offender guideline, § 4B1.1, not by the drug offense
guideline, § 2D1.1. (See Order at 1-2, Jan. 19,
2018, ECF No. 41.) Thus, his “sentencing range”
was not “lowered” by Amendment 782, and he was
not eligible for a reduction under § 3582(c)(2).
has now filed a second motion seeking a reduced term of
imprisonment pursuant to § 3582(c)(2). In this motion he
asserts that he is entitled to a two-point reduction in his
offense level in light of the Supreme Court's decision in
United States v. Hughes, 138 S.Ct. 1765 (2018).
Hughes, the Supreme Court considered whether a
defendant who was sentenced pursuant to a Rule 11(c)(1)(C)
plea agreement was precluded from seeking a reduced term of
imprisonment under § 3582(c)(2) on the ground that a
sentence pursuant to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement was not
“based on” a Guidelines sentencing range.
Id. at 1773. The Court rejected that view, holding
that “in the usual case the court's acceptance of a
[Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea] agreement and the sentence to be
imposed pursuant to that agreement are ‘based on'
the defendant's Guidelines range.” Id. at
1776. A defendant should only be barred from seeking relief,
the Court held, “[i]f the Guidelines range was not a
relevant part of the analytic framework the judge used to
determine the sentence or to approve the agreement.”
Id. at 1776 (internal quotations and citations
Supreme Court's decision in Hughes, however,
removes only one of the possible obstacles to defendant's
eligibility for a sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(2).
Even assuming that defendant's 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement
was “based on” his Guidelines sentencing range,
he remains ineligible for a § 3582(c) sentence reduction
because his sentence must also be “based on a
sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered
by the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2)
(emphasis added). In Hughes, this requirement was
satisfied because the defendant's sentencing range was
based on the drug quantity Guidelines that were revised by
Amendment 782. Here, though, defendant's sentencing range
is based on the career offender Guideline, and thus this
requirement is not satisfied. See, e.g., United
States v. Dodds, 772 Fed.Appx. 733, 735-36 (10th Cir.
2019) (defendant sentenced pursuant to 11(c)(1)(C) plea
agreement was not eligible for § 3582(c) sentence
reduction where career offender, not drug quantity, Guideline
determined his sentencing range). As the Court previously
Amendment 782, had it been in effect, would not have altered
[defendant's] range because the starting point for
calculating defendant's total offense level was not based
on drug quantity under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1, but rather was
determined by the offense level for career offenders under
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. Thus, his “sentencing
range” is controlled by the career offender provision
in the Guidelines and is unaffected by Amendment 782. See
United States v. Tepper, 616 F.3d 583, 588 (D.C. Cir.
2010) (“[Section] 3582(c) does not authorize a district
court to reduce a career offender's term of imprisonment
based on . . . amendments to the crack cocaine
(1/19/2018 Order at 2.) The same holds true today. Because
there has been no change in the career offender Guideline,
defendant's sentencing range has not been lowered, and he
is not eligible for a reduction under § 3582(c).
it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's
motion for a two-point reduction pursuant ...