Argued: January 25, 2017
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (D.C. No. 1-10-cr-00005-001)
District Judge: Honorable Christopher C. Conner
V. Wade Ronald A. Krauss [ARGUED] Office of Federal Public
Defender Counsel for Appellant
D. Brandler Scott R. Ford Carlo D. Marchioli [ARGUED] United
States Attorney's Office Middle District of Pennsylvania
Counsel for Appellee
Before: CHAGARES, RESTREPO [*] and ROTH, Circuit Judges.
RESTREPO, Circuit Judge.
Jose Rodriguez appeals as substantively unreasonable the
District Court's discretionary denial of his motion for a
sentencing reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). While
this would ordinarily be a routine appeal, it is not here
because the Government raises a novel challenge to our
appellate jurisdiction. The Government contends that we lack
jurisdiction to consider whether a ruling on a Section
3582(c)(2) motion was substantively unreasonable. We conclude
that we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We
2012, Rodriguez pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute
cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 846, and conspiracy to possess
firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, 18 U.S.C. §
924(o). The drug quantity was more than 15 and less than 50
kilograms of cocaine. Rodriguez was also responsible for
multiple drug-related robberies. His sentencing range was
120-150 months. The District Court ultimately sentenced
Rodriguez to 123 months' imprisonment and 3 years'
2016, Rodriguez filed a motion for a sentencing reduction
under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The basis for the motion
was Amendment 782 of the Sentencing Guidelines. Amendment 782
reduced by two the offense levels in Section 2D1.1 for drug
quantities that trigger a mandatory minimum sentence.
U.S.S.G. Supp. App. C, Amend. 782. Amendment 782 is
retroactive, provided that any reduction take effect on or
after November 1, 2015. U.S.S.G. Supp. App. C, Amend. 788;
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(d); U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, cmt.
District Court found Rodriguez eligible for an Amendment 782
sentencing reduction, but denied relief in the exercise of
its discretion. The District Court found that Rodriguez had
engaged in "an unyielding and escalating pattern of
drug-related and violent behavior which has been undeterred
by prior and substantial terms of imprisonment." App.
12. Rodriguez now appeals. He asserts that his unmodified
sentence is substantively unreasonable, based upon the
factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and his
District Court had jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3231.
United States v. Styer, 573 F.3d 151, 153 n.2 (3d
Cir. 2009). We have jurisdiction to address our own
jurisdiction. United States v. United Mine Workers of
Am., 330 U.S. 258, 291 (1947). We hold that we have
jurisdiction over the merits of this appeal under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1291, as explained below. Styer, 573 F.3d at
153 n.2. We review the District Court's
decision to deny Rodriguez's sentencing reduction motion
for abuse of discretion. United States v. Thompson,
825 F.3d 198, 203 (3d Cir. 2016) (citation omitted).
case involves a motion for a sentencing reduction under 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). Section 3582(c)(2) is an
"exception to the general rule of finality" over
sentencing judgments, set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3582(b).
Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 824 (2010).
Section 3582(c)(2) applies to amendments to the Sentencing
Guidelines. It provides that a district court may reduce a
sentence if two conditions are met: (1) the defendant was
sentenced "based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission"
and (2) "a reduction is consistent with applicable
policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission."
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2); see also United States v.
Flemming, 617 F.3d 252, 257 (3d Cir. 2010).
"policy statement" referenced in Section
3582(c)(2) is Section 1B1.10 of the Sentencing Guidelines.
See Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827. Section 1B1.10, in
turn, contains its own, more specific requirements for a
sentencing reduction. Under Section 1B1.10, the amendment to
the Sentencing Guidelines must be retroactive. U.S.S.G.
§ 1B.1.10(a)(2)(A), (d). It must also "have the
effect of lowering the defendant's applicable guideline
range, " based upon a prescribed method of calculation.
U.S.S.G. § 1B.1.10(a)(2)(B).
these eligibility requirements are met, a district court has
the discretion to grant a sentencing reduction "after
considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the
extent that they are applicable." 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2); see also Flemming, 617 F.3d at 257. In
addition, a district court "shall consider the nature
and seriousness of the danger to any person or the
community" and "may consider post- sentencing