United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 18
U.S.C. § 3582(C)(2)
WILLIAM B.SHUBB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is defendant Richard Mendoza's Motion for a
sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)
(“section 3582(c)(2)”) and Amendment 782 to the
United States Sentencing Guidelines
(“Guidelines”). (Def.'s Mot. (Docket No.
August 2, 2010, defendant entered into a plea agreement with
the government whereby he agreed to plead guilty to one count
of possession with intent to distribute at least five
kilograms of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1). (Plea Agreement (Docket No. 645).) The plea
agreement provided that a sentence of 210 months imprisonment
would be appropriate in defendant's case. (Id.
November 22, 2010, the United States Probation Office issued
a presentence report (“PSR”) in defendant's
case. (Presentence Report.) The PSR recommended a total
offense level of 35 and criminal history category of IV, and
a resulting Guidelines sentencing range of 235 to 293 months,
for defendant. (Id. at 23.)
December 13, 2010, the court held a sentencing hearing for
defendant. (Dec. 13, 2010 Tr. (Docket No. 839).) At the
hearing, the court adopted the PSR and found defendant's
total offense level to be 35, criminal history category to be
IV, and Guidelines sentencing range to be 235 to 293 months.
(Id. at 2.) Citing the fact that defendant's
criminal history category “would . . . have been a
category III had it not been for a juvenile matter which
[defendant] was given one [criminal history] point”
for, the court sentenced defendant to 210 months in prison.
(Id. at 10.)
November 1, 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission
(“Commission”) promulgated Amendment 782 to the
Guidelines, which reduced the base offense level of many drug
crimes listed in the Guidelines drug quantity table by two
levels. United States v. Mitchell, No. 1:12-CR-0199 LJO SKO,
2016 WL 4161082, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2016). The
Commission voted to make Amendment 782 retroactively
applicable. See U.S.S.G., sup. App'x C, amend. 788
(2014); United States v. Navarro, 800 F.3d 1104, 1107 (9th
now moves for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 782
and section 3582(c)(2). (Def.'s Mot.) The government
opposes defendant's Motion. (Gov't's Opp'n
(Docket No. 1517).)
3582(c)(2) allows the court to “reduce the term of
imprisonment” of a defendant who was “sentenced .
. . based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been
lowered by the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). The Supreme Court held in Dillon v. United
States, 560 U.S. 817 (2010) that section 3582(c)(2)
“establishes a two-step inquiry.” Id. at
826. At step one, the court must determine whether a sentence
reduction would be consistent with section 1B1.10 of the
Guidelines (“section 1B1.10”). Id.
“At step two, ” the court must “consider
any applicable [18 U.S.C.] § 3553(a) factors and
determine whether, in its discretion, the reduction
authorized by reference to the policies [stated in section
1B1.10] is warranted in whole or in part under the particular
circumstances of the case.” Id. at 827. At
step two, the court “shall consider the nature and
seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that
may be posed by a reduction in the defendant's term of
imprisonment, ” and “may consider [the
defendant's] post-sentencing conduct.” See U.S.S.G.
§ 1B1.10, comment. n.1(B).
parties dispute whether reducing defendant's sentence
pursuant to Amendment 782 would be consistent with section
1B1.10. Section 1B1.10 states that a “reduction in [a]
defendant's term of imprisonment is not consistent”
with its terms if the amendment pursuant to which the
defendant seeks the reduction “does not have the effect
of lowering [his] guideline range.” Id. §
1B1.10(a)(2). The government contends that Amendment 782 did
not have the effect of lowering defendant's Guidelines
sentencing range because the quantity of drugs defendant
admitted to being responsible for at the time of sentencing
is sufficient to trigger the same base offense level under
the revised drug quantity table that it triggered under the
2010 version of the drug quantity table--38. (See
Gov't's Opp'n at 2-4.) Defendant argues that
Amendment 782 did have the effect of lowering his Guidelines
sentencing range because the quantity of drugs he admitted to
at sentencing is only sufficient to trigger a base offense
level of 32 or, alternatively, 36 under the revised drug
quantity table. (See Def.'s Reply at 1-2 (Docket No.
1521).) The court need not resolve this dispute. The court
will assume, without deciding, that Amendment 782 lowered
defendant's Guidelines sentencing range and defendant is
eligible for a sentence reduction at Dillon step one.
Dillon step two, the government contends, and the court
agrees, that a sentence reduction is not warranted in
defendant's case. Prison discipline records submitted by
the government indicate that: (1) in 2011, defendant
communicated gang affiliation with his clothes; (2) in 2014,
defendant possessed marijuana and tobacco; and (3) in 2015,
defendant assaulted another inmate. (See Gov't's
Opp'n Ex. A, Mendoza Prison Discipline Records (Docket
No. 1517-1).) Such records suggest that defendant has not
been reformed and poses a safety risk to the public. Having
considered defendant's post-sentencing conduct and the
applicable section 3553(a) factors, the court finds that a
sentence reduction is not warranted in defendant's case.
Accordingly, the court will deny defendant's Motion.
THEREFORE ORDERED that defendant's Motion for a sentence
reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) ...