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United States v. Logan

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 8, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
EDDRICK MAREICUS LOGAN, Defendant. Count Three Original Guidelines Current Guidelines

          OPINION REGARDING DEFENDANT LOGAN'S FIRST STEP ACT MOTION

          ROBERT J. JONKER, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Logan pleaded guilty to a Section 841(b)(1)(B) crack cocaine offense in July 2009. The conviction exposed Defendant to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of forty years. Defendant was sentenced as a career offender in October 2009 to a total term of 188 months imprisonment. He was twenty-nine years old at the time.

         The matter before the Court is Defendant Logan's motion for modification or reduction in sentence under the newly enacted First Step Act, which provides for the retroactive application of certain sentencing reforms contained in the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act. (ECF No. 37 & 39).[1] The Court appointed counsel to assist Defendant Logan with his First Step motion. Both sides have filed briefs. The government responds that Defendant Logan is eligible for a reduced sentence, but it contends that no significant reduction is warranted here. (ECF No. 43). Defendant asks for a reduction to 151 months, the bottom end of the revised guideline range. (ECF No. 44).

         The Court finds that Defendant Logan is eligible for relief under the First Step Act, but that he is not entitled to a plenary resentencing. Nor does the Court see any other need for a hearing on the fully briefed issues. The Court can and does exercise its discretion under the First Step Act to relieve Defendant Logan of the mandatory-minimum sentence originally applicable to his crack cocaine offense, and to reduce Defendant Logan's sentence to 168 months as provided in this Opinion and corresponding Order.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         1. Defendant Logan's Charge & Plea

         In August 2008, officers with the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team (“KVET”) were investigating a large-scale drug-trafficking organization operating in the South Haven and Covert, Michigan areas. As part of that investigation, officers suspected that Anthony Smith was a drug dealer and was a purchaser of large quantities of narcotics. On August 14, 2008, KVET officers performed a traffic stop of Mr. Smith's vehicle while he was en route to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The vehicle was being driven by Defendant Logan. Officers found approximately 14 grams of crack cocaine on Mr. Logan's person, and a small amount of marijuana on the floor near where Mr. Smith was sitting. The vehicle was impounded, and approximately ½ kilogram of heroin was found in a hidden compartment under the vehicle. Mr. Smith later told investigators that he traveled with Defendant Logan on three or four occasions on which Defendant Logan purchased 10 ounces of heroin from another individual.

         Defendant Logan was charged in a three count Indictment on March 19, 2009. Count One charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribution 100 grams or more of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846; 841(a)(1); and 841(b)(1)(B)(i). Count Two charged Defendant with aiding and abetting Mr. Smith's possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1); 841(b)(1)(B)(i), and 18 U.S.C. § 2. Finally, Count Three charged Defendant with possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1); 841(b)(1)(B)(iii). (ECF No. 1).

         On July 14, 2009, Defendant pleaded guilty to Count Three of the Indictment before the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell (ECF No. 15). There was no written plea agreement, but the government agreed on the record during the plea to dismiss Counts One and Two at sentencing. (ECF No. 26, PageID.67). During the plea colloquy, Defendant Logan admitted to possession of approximately 13 grams of crack cocaine as part of the distribution offense. (ECF No. 26, PageID.74).

         2. PSR & Sentencing

         The Final Presentence Report (PSR) prepared by the probation officer found that Defendant Logan was responsible for 1, 623.58 kilograms of marijuana equivalent which was based on the heroin seized from Mr. Smith's vehicle, the crack cocaine found on Defendant's person, and based on Mr. Smith's subsequent statement to law enforcement. (PSR ¶ 26). The quantity, in turn, triggered an initial base offense level of 32.

         After adjusting downward for acceptance of responsibility, Defendant's offense level would have been 29. The PSR determined, however, that Defendant Logan qualified as a career offender because he committed the offense of conviction after sustaining two prior felony convictions for a crime of violence and a controlled substance offense. (PSR ¶ 45). Since the statutory maximum penalty for the offense of conviction was forty years under Section 841(b)(1)(B)(iii), the guidelines called for a career offender offense level of 31, after adjusting for acceptance of responsibility. See U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(b)(B) (2008). Level 31 being higher than the offense level calculated under Section 2D1.1, the career offender offense level took precedence and became Defendant Logan's total offense level. (PSR ¶ 46).

         The officer then scored Defendant's criminal history at thirteen points, resulting in a criminal history category of VI.[2] (PSR ¶ 58). The guideline range for the drug offense, based on a total offense level of 31 and criminal history category of VI was 188 to 235 months on the chart. (PSR ¶ 92).[3] On October 19, 2010, Judge Bell sentenced Defendant Logan to 188 months imprisonment, the bottom end of the career offender guideline range.[4] (ECF No. 23). The sentence was to run consecutive to Defendant's term of imprisonment for three convictions in State court. (ECF No. 23). Applying the Section 3553(a) factors, the Court concluded the sentence “best reflects the circumstances because of the high risk of recidivism[.]” (ECF No. 27, PageID.105). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed Defendant's sentence. United States v. Logan, No. 09-2368 (6th Cir. Aug. 26, 2011).

         3. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010

         In the summer of 2010 Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub L. No. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 (2010). The Fair Sentencing Act reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses by increasing the amount of crack cocaine needed to trigger the mandatory minimums established in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. United States v. Blewett, 746 F.3d 647, 649 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc); see also Dorsey v. United States, 567 U.S. 260, 263-64 (2012). More specifically, the Fair Sentencing Act increased the threshold quantity in 21 U.S.C. § 851(b)(1)(A)(iii) from 50 grams or more of crack cocaine to 280 grams or more. Fair Sentencing Act at § 2(a)(1). The Fair Sentencing Act also increased the threshold quantity in 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B)(iii) from 5 grams or more of crack cocaine to 28 grams or more. Fair Sentencing Act ...


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