United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Mitchell S. Goldberg, J.
NOW, this 27th day of February, 2017, upon
consideration of the pro se "Motion for Retroactive
Application of 782 Amendment Pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
3582(c)(2)" (doc. no. 33) and the "Government's
Response to the Defendant's Pro Se Motion for a Reduction
of Sentence Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and
Amendment 782" (doc. no. 41), I find as follows:
June 4, 2014, a grand jury returned an indictment charging
Defendant Kaseem Clark with one count of possession with the
intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and cocaine base in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); one
count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine,
heroin, and cocaine base ("crack") in a school zone
in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 860; one count of attempted
possession with the intent to distribute cocaine in violation
of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); and one count
of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
in a school zone in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 860.
Pursuant to a plea agreement under Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) (hereafter "(C) Plea"),
Defendant pled guilty to Counts II and IV. In that document,
the parties agreed that the appropriate term of imprisonment
was 188 months. Though not explained in the C Plea agreement,
Defendant was a career offender and therefore faced an
initial Guidelines range of 252-327 months' imprisonment
(Offense Level 34, Criminal History Category VI) (PSR at
8-12.). Because Defendant pled guilty, the C Plea agreement
took into account his early acceptance of responsibility and
lowered his Offense Level to 31, making the applicable
Guideline range 188-235 months. On September 9, 2014, I
agreed with the parties' recommendation and imposed the
agreed-upon sentence of 188 months.
Presently before me is Defendant's motion to reduce his
sentence pursuant to 18 § 3582(c)(2). Therein, he argues
that is he entitled to relief based on Amendment 782 to the
United States Sentencing Guidelines, which reduced the
offense levels corresponding to most drug quantities under
U.S.S.G. § 2D 1.1(c) by two levels.
the reasons that follow, I conclude that Defendant is
ineligible for a sentence reduction.
"A district court only has the authority to consider
whether a defendant should receive a reduction in his
sentence under § 3582(c)(2) when the defendant has been:
(1) sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing
range that has been subsequently lowered by the Sentencing
Commission; and when such a reduction is (2) consistent with
the applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing
Commission." United States v. Weatherspoon, 696
F.3d 416, 422 (3d Cir. 2012). "[T]o be eligible for
relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), a defendant who
agrees to a specific term of imprisonment in a (C) plea
agreement must show that his agreement both identifies a
Guidelines range and demonstrates a sufficient link between
that range and the recommended sentence." Id., at 423
(citing Freeman v. United States, 564 U.S. 522,
537-38 (2011). "Failure to meet either requirement is
fatal to a defendant's § 3582(c)(2) motion."
Id. This determination "turns solely on an
examination of the four corners of the plea agreement."
Id. at 422.
order to be eligible for a reduction based on Amendment 782,
Defendant's sentence of 188 months must be based on the
Sentencing Guidelines. Defendant's (C) Plea agreement
states: "The parties agree that this plea agreement is
made pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
11(c)(1)(C) and that the following specific sentence is the
appropriate disposition of this case: a total sentence of 188
months imprisonment." (doc. no. 16 at ¶ 2.) The (C)
Plea agreement does not identify the applicable Guidelines
range, the offense level, or Defendant's anticipated
criminal history category. The only ranges discussed in the
agreement are the statutory maximum and mandatory minimum for
each offense, and I can look only to the four corners of the
(C) Plea agreement. See Weatherspoon, 696 F.3d at
if I were to consider whether the 188 months agreed to in
Defendant's (C) Plea agreement was based on the
applicable Guidelines range, see Freeman, 564 U.S. at 542-43,
as explained above, the applicable Guidelines range was
determined by the career offender provisions found in
U.S.S.G. § 4B 1.1, not the drug quantity table found in
§ 2D1.1. For these reasons, I conclude that the changes
that Amendment 782 made to § 2D 1.1 do not impact
Defendant's sentence. See United States v. Rush,
645 F.App'x 166, 169 (3d Cir. 2016) ("Amendment 782,
which alters the offense levels for drug crimes but does not
affect the offense levels for career offenders . . .
."); United States v. Ware, 641 F.App'x
108, 111 (3d Cir. 2016) (Amendment 782 "alters the
offense levels for drug crimes but does not affect the
offense levels for career offenders"). As such,
Defendant is not entitled to relief in light of Amendment 782
and his motion will be denied.
it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's pro se "Motion
for Retroactive Application of 782 Amendment Pursuant to 18
U.S.C. 3582(c)(2)" (doc. no. 33) is DENIED.
 The Government moved to withdraw
Counts I and III at the sentencing hearing held on September
9, 2014. I granted that motion ...