United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Roberto Farias's
motion for a reduction of sentence under Amendment
(ECF No. 1043.)
a guilty plea, Defendant was sentenced to 340 months'
incarceration. (ECF No. 682.) The Court determined that a
sentence within the middle of the guidelines range was
appropriate to promote respect for the law, provide just
punishment to Farias, and reflect the seriousness of the
offense. (ECF No. 745 at PageID.4905.) At the time of
sentencing, Farias had served 25 months of a five-year prison
term for a drug conviction in California that constituted
relevant conduct to the underlying conspiracy. (Id.)
The Court determined that § 5G1.3(b) of the guidelines
was applicable and stated that it would reduce by 25 months
the sentence that it would ordinarily impose for the offense.
(Id.) The Court then stated that it would normally
impose a sentence of 365 months but given the 25-month
credit, Farias's sentence would be 340 months.
filed a pro se motion for a reduction of his sentence
pursuant to Guideline Amendment 782 and 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). (ECF No. 1043 at PageID.10674.) The Court's
Probation Officer concluded Farias is eligible and
recommended a reduction to 275 months' imprisonment, to
be consistent with the middle-of-the-guideline-range sentence
the Court originally imposed. (ECF No. 1047 at PageID.10686.)
Farias was appointed counsel; counsel claims that the
middle-of-the-guideline range sentence should instead be 269
months, after accounting for the 25 months the Court credit
Farias under § 5G1.3(b) when it imposed his original
sentence. (ECF No. 1060 at PageID.10758.) However,
Farias's counsel goes one step further-arguing
Farias's post-sentencing conduct warrants a lower
sentence and asks the Court impose a sentence of 262
months-the floor of Farias's amended guideline range.
Counsel also requests that any amended judgment the Court
imposes provide that Farias's federal sentence runs
concurrent with his undischarged state sentence.
(Id. at PageID.10764.)
United States, for its part, essentially agrees with nearly
all of what Defendant asks for-but does not believe the Court
should reduce Farias's sentence to the floor of his
amended guideline range given the “nature and
seriousness of the underlying conspiracy and Farias's
role in it.” (ECF No. 1067 at PageID.10814.) The Court
considering all of the § 3553(a) factors, Farias is not
entitled to a bottom-end guideline sentence for Farias.
Farias played a “substantial” role in a major,
international drug trafficking ring. (ECF No. 745 at
PageID.4903-04.) Moreover, at sentencing, the Court was
concerned with Farias's “attempts to minimize . . .
his involvement.” (Id.) The Court noted its
concerns with the seriousness of Farias's conduct and the
wreckage that his (and others')
left in the Western District of Michigan.
I only pause to think about the number of families that have
been destroyed by the controlled substances that Mr. Farias
transferred from Mexico to Mr. Charles for ultimate delivery
in the Western District of Michigan. I dare say, based on the
quantities involved in this conspiracy, that there are a
substantial number of families who have been destroyed by the
cocaine that came from California through Mr. Farias into
(Id.) The Court remains hopeful that Farias
continues on the path to rehabilitation and acknowledges his
educational and vocational successes. (See, e.g.,
ECF No. 1060 at PageID.10758.) However, in light of
all the § 3553(a) factors, particularly the
seriousness of the offense conduct, a bottom-end guideline
sentence is most definitely not appropriate.
the Court finds the 269-month sentence just and appropriate
when considering all of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors,
but does not find Farias's post-sentencing efforts
warrant any further reduction from that sentence.
Accordingly, the Court will grant Defendant's motion and
impose a sentence of 269 months and issue a separate order to
that effect. (ECF No. 1043.)
with respect to Farias's argument that the written
judgment should have reflected a sentence concurrent to the
then-undischarged state term of imprisonment, the Court
agrees. Therefore, immediately preceding this opinion, the
Court docketed a corrected judgment providing that the
federal sentence commencing on November 7, 2011 must run
concurrent with the undischarged state term
(subsequently completed in March 2013) as of November 7,
2011. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 36 (“[T]he court
may at any time correct a clerical error in a judgment . . .
arising from oversight or omission.”).
 In 2014, the United States Sentencing
Commission passed Amendment 782, which lowered the base
offense level for most drug trafficking, and Amendment 788,
which made Amendment 782 retroactive. U.S. v. Lucas,