United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
STENGEL, C. J.
Mainor, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Complex at
Allenwood, has filed a pro se motion for reduction
of sentence pursuant to Amendment 782 to the United States
Sentencing Guidelines, and pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). The government has responded. For the following
reasons, I will deny the motion.
October 24, 2007, a jury convicted Mr. Mainor of possession
of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; of being a
felon in possession of a firearm; of multiple counts of
distribution of, and possession with intent to distribute,
cocaine and crack-cocaine; and three counts of distribution
of, and possession with intent to distribute, within 1, 000
feet of a school, cocaine and crack-cocaine.
sentencing, the Probation Office determined that the base
offense level for the combined drug quantities was 36, with
no adjustments. The combination of that level with Mr.
Mainor's criminal history category of II yielded a
sentencing guideline range of 210-262 months' imprisonment.
However, there was a mandatory minimum sentence on Count Two
of two hundred forty months, and a mandatory minimum
consecutive sentence on Count Seven of sixty months, bringing
the effective guideline sentence to 300 months.
April 24, 2008, I sentenced Mr. Mainor to 240 months'
imprisonment on the drug offenses and sixty months'
imprisonment on the firearm charge to run consecutively for a
total of 300 months' imprisonment, to be followed by a
total of twenty years of supervised release, a fine of $60,
000, and a special assessment of $600.
18 of the United States Code, Section 3582(c)(2) provides:
[I]n the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term
of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o), upon motion of the defendant or
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, or on its own motion,
the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after
considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the
extent that they are applicable, if such a reduction is
consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the
Section 1B1.10: “In a case in which a defendant is
serving a term of imprisonment, and the guideline range
applicable to that defendant has subsequently been lowered as
a result of an amendment to the Guidelines Manual listed in
subsection (d) below, the court may reduce the
defendant's term of imprisonment as provided by 18 U.S.C.
Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817 (2010), the
Supreme Court of the United States addressed the process for
application of a retroactive guideline amendment, emphasizing
that Section 1B1.10 is binding. The Court required district
courts to follow a two-step approach:
At step one, § 3582(c)(2) requires the court to follow
the Commission's instructions in § 1B1.10 to
determine the prisoner's eligibility for a sentence
modification and the extent of the reduction authorized.
Specifically, § 1B1.10(b)(1) requires the court to begin
by “determin[ing] the amended guideline range that
would have been applicable to the defendant” had the
relevant amendment been in effect at the time of the initial
sentencing. “In making such determination, the court
shall substitute only the amendments listed in subsection (c)
for the corresponding guideline provisions that were applied
when the defendant was sentenced and shall leave all other
guideline application decisions unaffected.”
Consistent with the limited nature of § 3582(c)(2)
proceedings, § 1B1.10(b)(2) also confines the extent of
the reduction authorized. Courts generally may “not
reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment under 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) . . . to a term that is less than
the minimum of the amended guideline range” produced by
the substitution. § 1B1.10(b)(2)(A). . . .
At step two of the inquiry, § 3582(c)(2) instructs a
court to consider any applicable § 3553(a) factors and
determine whether, in its discretion, the reduction
authorized by reference to the policies relevant at step one
is warranted in whole or in part under the particular
circumstances of the case.
Id. at 827.
that Amendment 782 does lower Mr. Manor's Section 2D1.1
offense level from 36 to 34, and his guideline range to 168
to 210 months' imprisonment. This amended range, however,
falls below the statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 300
months, which becomes the guideline range. The Sentencing
Commission has no authority to alter a statutory mandatory
penalty. Amendment 782 only altered the offense levels for
drug offenses, but could not change the statutory mandatory
minimums as are present here. The retroactive amendment has
not altered this provision, and therefore both the statutory
mandatory penalty and the recommended guideline sentence
remain exactly what they were at the time of the original
sentencing proceeding. See § 1B1.10(a)(2)
(“A reduction in the defendant's term of
imprisonment is not consistent with this ...