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United States v. Hernandez

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 20, 2009

UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOE HERNANDEZ, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew Senior, U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT JOE HERNANDEZ'S MOTION FOR REDUCTION OF SENTENCE

On February 18, 2009, this Court heard Defendant Joe Hernandez's Motion for Reduction of Sentence Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). Plaintiff United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe, and Defendant was not present but was represented by Karen L. Landau. Having considered all papers submitted, as well as the arguments of counsel, the Court HEREBY RULES AS FOLLOWS:

Defendant's Motion for Reduction of Sentence Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) is DENIED. At the time Defendant was sentenced in 1997, United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2D1.1 required a conviction involving 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base to qualify as a level 38 offender, the maximum offense level for drug distribution. Amendment 706 to the Sentencing Guidelines, enacted in 2007, raised the required quantity of cocaine base to 4.5 kilograms.

Pursuant to Defendant's sentencing, this Court made factual findings that Defendant was conservatively estimated to have been involved in trafficking a quantity of cocaine base substantially exceeding 4.5 kilograms. As such, if Defendant were sentenced today his base offense level under the amended Sentencing Guidelines would remain at 38. Therefore, Amendment 706 has no effect on Defendant's guideline range, and reduction of sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) is not appropriate.

In addition, the nature of Defendant's convictions and the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) weigh against reduction of sentence as well. Accordingly, Defendant's Motion is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090220

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