United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
February 29, 2012, Defendant Eric Artez Moses
(“Defendant” or “Mr. Moses”) pled
guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess
With the Intent to Distribute Five Kilograms or More of
Cocaine and 280 Grams or More of Cocaine Base, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). On May 23,
2012, this Court sentenced Mr. Moses to a term of 144 months
imprisonment, followed by 60 months of supervised release,
which was agreed-upon by the parties in the plea agreement
and based on a sentencing range of 135 to 168 months for a
Criminal History Category I and an offense level of 33.
See Plea Agreement, ECF No. 74, at 2; Sentencing
Transcript, ECF No. 216. The mandatory minimum required by
statute was 120 months. Mr. Moses did not appeal his
conviction and sentence, and he is serving his term of
imprisonment. Defendant is “currently projected to be
released on January 28, 2022.” Def.'s Mot., ECF No.
249, at 3.
before the Court is Mr. Moses'  Motion to Reduce
Sentence; the United States'  Response to the
Defendant's Motion to Reduce Sentence; and the
Defendant's  Reply to the Government's Response.
In the instant case, the Defendant asks this Court to reduce
his sentence to the mandatory minimum of 120 months, based on
a guideline sentencing range that has subsequently been
lowered and made retroactive by the United States Sentencing
Commission. The Government “does not oppose a reduction
in defendant's sentence [but rather, ] the government
disagrees with defendant as to the appropriate
reduction.” Govt. Resp., ECF No. 253, at 1. The
Government suggests a sentence of 128 months in light of the
applicable United States Sentencing Guideline range of 108 to
135 months. Upon review of the parties' submissions,
relevant authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court
finds that Mr. Moses' sentence shall be reduced to 124
months incarceration followed by 60 months of supervised
release. Accordingly, the Court shall GRANT IN PART AND DENY
IN PART Mr. Moses'  Motion to Reduce Sentence for
the reasons described herein.
November 1, 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission
amended and lowered the base offense levels by two points for
almost all drug offenses. See U.S.S.G., Supplement
to Appendix C, Amendment 782 (November 1, 2014). 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2) provides:
[I]n 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 . . .
the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, 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
case, Amendment 782 reduces Mr. Moses's sentencing range
from 135-168 months (Criminal History Category I, offense
level of 33) to 108-135 months (Criminal History Category I,
offense level of 31), and accordingly, the Court is
authorized to reduce his sentence, although the mandatory
minimum remains applicable.
asserts that he is “worthy [of] and eligible
[for]” a reduction to 120 months in light of the record
in this case. Defendant explains that he “earned his
GED in November 2014 and has completed other programming and
educational courses separate from his GED studying.”
Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 249, at 3. The Government contends
however that because Mr. Moses' “agreed-upon
sentence of 144 months was roughly at the midpoint of the
applicable United States Sentencing Guideline range of 135 to
168 months of imprisonment, ” this Court should impose
a sentence “proportionate to his original sentence,
” which it calculates as 128 months. Govt's Resp.,
ECF No. 253, at 1-2. The Government notes that, in
determining Defendant's original sentence, this Court
considered the “original range [ ], . . .
[D]efendant's conduct, his minimal criminal history, his
acceptance of responsibility, and the other factors set forth
in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)[.]” Govt's Resp., ECF
No. 253, at 2. The Government notes further that while the
Defendant's adult criminal history is minimal, he does
have a record of arrests and his “involvement in the
instant offense established that he participated in selling
large quantities of drugs over an extended period of time . .
. [which was] enhanced by defendant's possession of a
firearm in connection with the drug trafficking
activities.” Id. at 3.
Reply, Defendant focuses on the idea of a sentence
“proportionate to his original sentence, ” and
his calculation results in a sentence of “114 months,
[which is] 6 months higher than 108 months and 21 months
lower than 135 months.” Def.'s Reply, ECF No. 255,
at 1. Defendant notes however that there is a mandatory
minimum of 120 months, and accordingly, he asks that the
Court impose the mandatory minimum.
considering the Defendant's request for a sentence
reduction, this Court reviewed the nature and circumstances
of the Defendant's criminal activity, the need for the
sentence imposed, the kinds of sentences and the sentencing
range and the other factors set out in 18 U.S.C. Section
3553(a). The Court notes that Mr. Moses was not originally
sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 120 months, or at the
very bottom of the 135 to 168 months' sentencing range,
but he was sentenced instead to 144 months. The Court
acknowledges that Mr. Moses' criminal history was
minimal, and he accepted responsibility for his misconduct.
Since his imprisonment, Mr. Moses has made positive strides
by obtaining his GED and completing approximately 288 hours
of educational courses as well as drug education.
Furthermore, during his incarceration, Mr. Moses has had only
a few minor disciplinary infractions.
Court balances these factors against the serious nature and
circumstances of Defendant's criminal activity, which
included participation in a drug conspiracy whereby large
quantities of cocaine [crack cocaine] were sold over an
extended period of time, and possession and use of a firearm
during the course of the conspiracy. Accordingly, this Court
finds that a reduction of Mr. Moses' sentence to 124
months - midway between what the Defendant and the Government
are requesting - is appropriate in this case. An Order
Regarding Motion for Sentence Reduction Pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582 (c)(2) accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
 While the Court renders its decision
today on the record as a whole, its consideration has focused
on the following documents: Def.'s Mot. to Reduce
Sentence (“Def.'s Mot.”), ECF No. 249; the
Govt's Resp. to Def's Mot. to Reduce Sentence
(“Gov't Resp.”), ECF No. 253; Def.'s
Reply to the Govt's Resp. (“Def.'s
Reply”), ECF No. 255.
 Information regarding Mr. Moses'
educational courses and disciplinary infractions is based on
information contained in the BOP database, which was provided