United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
L. Ludington United States District Judge.
September 30, 2005, an indictment was returned against
Defendant Reginald Walter Fields charging him with
distributing 50 grams or more of cocaine base in the form of
crack cocaine. ECF No. 3. The parties entered into a Rule 11
Plea Agreement which provided that Defendant would plead
guilty to count one of the indictment. Because Defendant had
at least two prior qualifying convictions for controlled
substance offenses, he was classified as a career offender
under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, and his offense level was 37.
With a three-level reduction for acceptance of
responsibility, Defendant's total offense level was 34
with a criminal history category VI, resulting in a guideline
range of 262 to 327 months. At the sentencing hearing on
November 30, 2006, the Court adopted the guideline range in
the presentence report and imposed a custodial sentence of
210 months to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
January 7, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for a sentence
reduction pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018. ECF No. 21.
The parties filed a stipulation to reduce Defendant's
sentence on June 18, 2019. ECF No. 32.
to Section 404(b) of the First Step Act, “a court that
imposed a sentence for a covered offense may . . . impose a
reduced sentence as if sections 2 and 3 of the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010 were in effect at the time the covered
offense was committed.” P.L. 115-391, Section 404(b).
In order to be eligible, the petitioner must have been
sentenced prior to August 3, 2010 (the date of the enactment
of the Fair Sentencing Act) for a “covered
offense” as defined in the First Step Act.
Court explained in Brown (Case No. 07-cr-20195), the
Act does not require a plenary resentencing proceeding.
See P.L. 115-391, Sec. 404(c). (“Nothing in
this section shall be construed to require a court to reduce
any sentence pursuant to this section.”). Rather,
courts have discretion to modify a sentence for eligible
Defendants in response to a motion or on the court's own
initiative. See P.L. 115-391, Section 404(b).
Although the Act does not require a plenary resentencing
proceeding, courts nevertheless consider the Section 3553(a)
factors to determine whether a sentence modification is
warranted. See e.g. United States v. Boulding, 2019
WL 2135494, at *6 (W.D. Mich. May 16, 2019); United
States v. Delaney, 2019 WL 861418, at *1 (W.D. Va. Feb.
22, 2019). Consideration of these factors is also consistent
with United States Sentencing Commission's
has three prior criminal convictions beginning at age 18
including two for delivery/manufacturing of less than 50
grams of cocaine in 1990 and 1996, and one for providing a
false report to police (also in 1996). Defendant is now 47
years old with five children ages 13, 12, 12, 10, and 7. He
was $75, 500.37 in arrears on child support as of his date of
sentence. He has no reported substance abuse problems and no
history of mental or emotional problems. His highest level of
education was 9th grade. He has a sporadic employment
history. He had $82, 071.37 in unsecured debts as of his date
was sentenced on November 30, 2006 for distribution of more
than 50 grams of cocaine base. Therefore, he is eligible for
a reduction under the First Step Act. Because of his status
as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1,
Defendant's offense level and corresponding guideline
range remains unchanged after the First Step Act. His offense
level of 34 (base offense level of 37 with a 3-level
reduction for acceptance of responsibility) results in a
guideline range of 262 to 327 months. Pursuant to Section
841(b)(1)(B) of the Fair Sentencing Act (now retroactively
applicable via the First Step Act of 2018), the statutory
minimum penalty for career offenders such as Defendant who
are convicted of distribution of less than 280 but more than
28 grams of cocaine base has been reduced from 20 years to 10
parties stipulate that Defendant's guideline range of 262
to 327 months has not changed, although his statutory
mandatory minimum has been reduced from 20 years to 10 years,
and his statutory minimum term of supervised release has been
reduced from 10 years to 8 years pursuant to 841(b)(1)(B).
The parties stipulate that Defendant should receive a
reduction but have not specified an amount.
addition to the amended statutory minimum, Defendant's
post-sentencing conduct is a relevant consideration when
reevaluating his sentence. See Pepper v. U.S. 562
U.S. 476 (2011) (holding that post-conviction behavior could
be considered in the context of the Section 3553(a) factors
during a resentencing following an appeal). Here, Defendant
has produced evidence that he has been productive during his
roughly 12 years of incarceration. He obtained a GED and has
taken various practical courses throughout his incarceration.
His discipline report reflects two instances of being
unsanitary or untidy (2011 and 2017), two instances of
possessing a hazardous tool (2016), and one instance of
“destroy/dispose item search” (2016). He is
currently employed as an orderly.
light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that a reduction
is warranted. Defendants term of imprisonment will be reduced
from 210 months to 189 months, and his term of supervised
release will be reduced from 10 years to 8 years.
it is ORDERED that Defendant's motion
for a reduced sentence, ECF ...