United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
SENTENCE REDUCTION PURSUANT TO THEFIRST STEP ACT OF 2018
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
9, 2008, Anthony LaJuan Fleming (“Defendant”) was
indicted on two counts of distributing cocaine base, 21
U.S.C. § 841. ECF No. 3. Defendant entered a guilty plea
on August 15, 2008, which charged him with distribution of 50
or more grams of crack cocaine. ECF No. 19. He was sentenced
on December 5, 2008 and is currently serving a sentence of
290 months. See ECF No. 20.
Defendant's sentencing in December 2008, Congress enacted
the First Step Act of 2018 (“the Act”). The Act
authorizes federal district courts to exercise their
discretion and resentence a defendant who was sentenced
before August 3, 2010 as though the Fair Sentencing Act's
(“FSA”) lower threshold quantities of crack
cocaine had been in place at the time of sentencing.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Sentence
Reduction Pursuant to the First Step Act, filed on June 27,
2019. ECF No. 69. The Government filed a Response on July 15,
2019. ECF No. 71. Defendant timely submitted his Reply ten
days later. ECF No. 72. A hearing on Defendant's Motion
was held on November 13, 2019. For the reasons that follow,
the Court will GRANT Defendant's Motion [#69]. The Court
will conduct a resentencing hearing on November 25, 2019 at
October 11, 2007, Defendant sold 22.3 grams of cocaine base
to a confidential source. ECF. No. 19. Later that month, on
October 19, 2007, a Michigan State Police Confidential
Informant contacted Defendant and arranged the controlled
purchase of a quantity of cocaine base, commonly known as
“crack” cocaine. Id. Later that day, the
confidential source met with Defendant at City Center Plaza
in Flint, Michigan, and purchased 103 grams of crack cocaine
directly from Defendant. Id.
was indicted on two counts of distributing cocaine base in
June 2008. ECF No. 3. On August 15, 2008, Defendant pleaded
guilty to Count Two- distribution of 50 or more grams of
cocaine base-and the Government agreed to dismiss Count One.
ECF No. 19. Defendant's counsel objected to whether
Defendant's prior conviction for fleeing constituted a
crime of violence under the guidelines. See ECF No.
25, PageID.65, 73. Defendant was sentenced to 290 months
imprisonment on December 5, 2008. ECF No. 20, PageID.50.
January 6, 2009, Defendant filed a Notice of Appeal to the
Sixth Circuit regarding his Judgement and Sentence. ECF No.
21. The Sixth Circuit dismissed the appeal, noting that
Defendant waived his appeal because his sentence was within
the agreed sentencing range after knowingly and voluntarily
entering a guilty plea. ECF No. 29.
December 2012, Defendant filed a Motion for Retroactive
Application of Sentencing Guidelines to his crack cocaine
offense. ECF Nos. 30, 31. The Court ordered the appointment
of a federal defender to determine his eligibility. ECF No.
32. The Federal Defender's Office determined that
Defendant was not eligible for a sentence modification
because the modification to the crack guideline “does
not have the effect of lowering the defendant's
applicable guideline range.” ECF No. 34, PageID.121.
The Court then denied Defendant's Motion for
Reconsideration because reductions were not permitted for
defendants who were sentenced prior to the effective date of
the FSA. ECF No. 35.
2016, the Court granted Defendant's Motion to Vacate
Sentence. ECF No. 43. However, the Court vacated that order
after ordering supplemental briefing from the parties to
address the Supreme Court's then-recent Beckles v.
United States decision. ECF No. 58. It further denied
Defendant's Motion to Vacate and Correct Sentence under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. Id.
now moves this Court, pursuant to the Act, to impose a
reduced sentence and grant him immediate release. ECF No. 69,
federal court is generally prohibited from modifying a
defendant's term of imprisonment once it has been
imposed. See 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). The rule of
finality, though, is subject to a “few narrow
exceptions.” Freeman v. United States, 564
U.S. 522, 526 (2011). Section 3582(c)(1)(b) equips a court
with one of these “narrow exceptions”: a court
can modify an imposed sentence “to the extent otherwise