United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING
PETITIONER’S MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE UNDER U.S.S.G.
AMENDMENT 782 (ECF No. 38)
LAWRENCE J. O’NEILL UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Petitioner Edward Mitchell’s
(“Petitioner” or “Defendant”) motion
to reduce his sentence under U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(b)(1) and
Amendment 782 (“the Amendment”) to the United
States Sentencing Guidelines,  which revised the Drug Quantity
Table in § 2D1.1 and reduced by two levels the offense
level applicable to many drug trafficking offenses (ECF No.
38). In its Opposition (ECF No. 41), the government concedes
that Petitioner is eligible for a reduction under §
1B1.10, but opposes the motion on the basis of the 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) factors. Upon review of the parties’
briefing, the record in the case including the Probation
Office’s Presentence Report (“PSR”), and
the relevant law, the Court denies the motion for the
to a three-count indictment (ECF No. 3), Petitioner pleaded
guilty to Count 2, Felon in Possession of Firearm, a
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); and Count 3,
Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, a violation of
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). See ECF Nos. 19, 20.
by the U.S. Probation Office, the PSR recommended that,
pursuant to § 2D1.1(c), Defendant’s base offense
level was 20 (based on the quantity of cocaine
involved in the offense) and his criminal history was
category IV (based on 8criminal history points). See
ECF No. 26, PSR-Final Amended (“PSR-FA”)
¶¶ 25-27, 44-45. Based on the specific offense
characteristics where the offense involved the use of a
firearm, pursuant to § 2D1.1(b)(1)(A), the PSR found
appropriate a two-level increase. See Id. at
¶¶ 27-28. Pursuant to §§ 3E1.1(a) and
(b), Defendant’s acceptance of responsibility warranted
a three-level reduction, for an adjusted total offense level
of 19. See Id. at ¶¶ 30-31. The Guidelines
range for a defendant with an offense level of 19 and a
criminal history category IV was 46-57 months. See
Id. at ¶ 67; U.S.S.G. Ch. 5, Pt. A; § 2D1.1.
The PSR recommended an upward departure to 96 months.
See PSR-FA at 22.
September 23, 2012, adopting the PSR and accepting the plea
agreement, the Court imposed a sentence of 96 months in
custody; a 36-month term of supervised release; and a
mandatory $200 penalty assessment. See ECF Nos. 33,
federal court generally ‘may not modify a term of
imprisonment once it has been imposed.”‘
Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 819 (2010)
(quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)). However, a federal
sentencing court is authorized to modify an imposed sentence
when the relevant sentencing range was lowered subsequent to
a defendant’s original sentence. 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2); see United States v. Dunn, 728 F.3d
1151, 1155 (9th Cir. 2013) (a district court may do so
“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.”). Effective November 1, 2014, the
Commission promulgated Amendment 782, which generally revised
the Drug Quantity Table and chemical quantity tables across
drug and chemical types. The Commission also voted to make
the Amendment retroactively applicable to previously
sentenced defendants. See U.S.S.G., sup. App’x
C, amend. 788 (2014); United States v. Navarro, 800
F.3d 1104, 1107 (9th Cir. 2015).
requests a reduction in his sentence under Amendment 782,
enumerated in § 1B1.10(d). Petitioner argues that he is
entitled to a reduction in sentence pursuant to the Amendment
because, citing § 2D1.1(c)(11) (2015 ed.), “the
base offense level associated with [his] convictions drops by
two, to 18, and applying the adjustments assessed at the
initial sentencing, “his total offense level is now 17,
and the amended guideline range is 37 to 46 months.”
ECF No. 38 at 6. Because the Sentencing Commission has
lowered Petitioner’s appropriate guideline range,
Petitioner argues that “the court may reduce the term
of imprisonment, after considering the factors set forth in
section 3553(a)…” and may, pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2), at its discretion, decrease his sentence
“down to as low as the low-end of the amended guideline
range.” ECF No. 38 at 7. As a result, Petitioner
“requests the Court enter the order lodged herewith
reducing his term of imprisonment to a total term of 85
months on each of counts 2 and 3, to be run
concurrently.” Id. at 3:24-26.
on § 3553(a) factors, including Petitioner’s
criminal history, the violence associated with the underlying
offense, as well as the government’s concessions in the
original plea agreement, the government disputes that a
reduction in sentence is appropriate in this case.
See ECF No. 41.
whether a sentence reduction is appropriate under §
3582(c)(2) “requires a two-step inquiry.”
Dunn, 728 F.3d at 1155.
Step One: Eligibility
one, “a district court must determine whether a
prisoner is eligible for a sentence modification under the
Commission’s policy ...