United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
FOR MODIFICATION OF TERM OF IMPRISONMENT PURSUANT TO 18
U.S.C. § 3582(C) (DKT. 926)
A. GOLDSMITH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a jury trial in the summer of 2014, Defendant Leon Gills was
convicted of (i) a Racketeering Influenced Corrupt
Organizations (“RICO”) conspiracy, 18 U.S.C.
§ 1962(d); (ii) attempted murder in aid of racketeering,
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5); (iii) use and discharge of a
firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, 18
U.S.C. § 924(c); and (iv) attempted murder in aid of
racketeering, 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5). See Jury
Verdict Form (Dkt. 712). He was sentenced to life
imprisonment. See Judgment (Dkt. 801). Gills has now
filed a motion to modify the term of his imprisonment (Dkt.
926). For the
following reasons, the Court denies Gills' motion.
was convicted on Count I, RICO conspiracy; Count VIII,
attempted murder in aid of racketeering; Count IX, use and
discharge of a firearm; and Count XXXV, attempted murder in
aid of racketeering. At sentencing, the Court considered the
recommended sentence under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines
(“USSG”). The USSG provide that when a defendant
is convicted of more than one count, the court is to group
the counts resulting in conviction into Groups of Closely
Related Counts (“Groups”), and determine the
applicable offense level for each Group. USSG § 3D1.1.
Gills' counts were grouped as follows:
Group One - Count I, attempted murder overt act,
Group Two - Count I, attempted murder overt act,
Maranda Barnes; Count VIII, attempted murder in aid
of racketeering for Maranda Barnes
Group Three - Count I, attempted murder overt act,
Rashima Doby; Count VIII, attempted murder in aid of
racketeering for Rashima Doby
Group Four - Count I, attempted murder overt act,
D'Angelo McEwen; Count VIII, attempted murder in
aid of racketeering, D'Angelo McEwen
Group Five - Count I, attempted murder overt act,
Rodney Harden; Count VIII, attempted murder in aid of
racketeering, Rodney Harden
Group Six - Count I, distribution of crack cocaine
Group Seven [stated as Group Eight at sentencing] -
Count I, attempted murder overt act, Charles Orr;
Count XXXV, attempted murder in aid of racketeering,
See 5/19/2015 Hr'g Tr. at 58-61 (Dkt. 883).
Court then determined that Gills' combined adjusted
offense level was 38. See id. at 61. Based upon this
offense level, and Gills' criminal history of five, the
guideline imprisonment range was 360 months to life.
Id. Considering the sentencing guidelines, as
advisory and not mandatory, and taking into account the
factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553, the Court
sentenced Gills to life imprisonment on the RICO conspiracy
charge; ten years on both of the attempted murder charges,
which were to run concurrent to one another and to the RICO
sentence; and ten years on the use and discharge of a firearm
charge, which was to run consecutive to all counts. See
id. at 74.
now argues that (i) he is entitled to a sentencing reduction;
or (ii) the Court should consider exercising its discretion
to lower his sentence.
first argues that as a result of Amendment 782 to the USSG,
he should have received a two-level reduction to his offense
level for Group Six. See Def. Mot. at 2 (Dkt. 926).
Amendment 782 retroactively reduced by two levels the offense
level assigned to drug quantities. Gills argues that he
should have received a base level of 22 for an offense
involving 28 to 112 grams of crack cocaine, rather than 24.
After adding two levels for Gills' obstruction of
justice, he contends that his adjusted offense level for
Group Six would be 24. Id. Gills argues that this
lower offense level for Group Six would affect the combined
adjusted offense level, such that his sentencing range would
be 324-405 months imprisonment instead of life imprisonment.
Id. at 3.
USSG calculate the combined offense level by taking the
highest offense level applicable among the Groups, and then
increasing it by an amount set forth in the USSG.
See USSG § 3D1.4. To determine this amount, the
Group with the highest offense level is counted as
“one;” a Group that is equally serious as, or
from 1-4 levels less serious than, the Group with the highest
offense level, is also counted as “one;” a Group
that is 5 to 8 levels less serious than the Group with the
highest offense level is counted as “one-half;”
and a Group that is 9 or more levels less serious is
disregarded. Id. These points are then combined to
determine the amount that is added to the highest offense
the Group with the highest offense level was Group Seven,
which has an offense level of 33. This counts as
“one.” Groups One, Two, Three, Four, and Five
were all from 1-4 levels less serious than Group Seven, and
thus were worth a combined total of five points. Group Six,
as calculated at sentencing, was 7 levels less serious than
Group Seven, and was worth one-half of a point. The total
amount was therefore 6.5. The USSG provide that when this
amount is more than five, five levels should be added to the
highest offense level - here, 33. The combined offense level
was thus calculated to be 38.
argues that Group Six's offense level should be reduced
to 24, which would mean that, as nine levels less serious
than Group Seven's offense level, it would be disregarded
as part of the above calculation. But even if Gills were
correct that his offense level could be reduced to 24, his
combined offense level would still be 38. The total amount
would be 6, rather than 6.5, but the USSG provide that when
the amount is “more than five, ” five levels are
added to the highest offense level. Thus, the Court need not
consider whether Amendment 782 allows for a reduction in
Gills' offense level, as his sentencing range under the
USSG would remain the same.
next asks that, in the alternative, the Court consider
exercising its discretion to reduce his sentence. Def. Mot.
at 3. “The authority of a district court to resentence
a defendant is limited by statute” and is
“expressly prohibit[ed] . . . beyond those exceptions
expressly enacted by Congress.” United States v.
Ross, 245 F.3d 577, 586 (6th Cir. 2001). Gills does not
point to any statutory authority that would permit the Court
to reduce his sentence. He lists 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a),
but that statute provides the factors that a court must take
into consideration when ...