United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
STENGEL, C. J.
Lamont Walker, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional
Institution at Estill, South Carolina, 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.
December 6, 2006, Mr. Walker was charged in a superseding
indictment in Count One with possession of five kilograms or
more of cocaine with intent to distribute, and in Count Two
with possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine with
intent to distribute within one thousand feet of a school. On
March 29, 2007, Mr. Walker pleaded guilty to Count One
pursuant to a plea agreement with the government. In the
agreement, he stipulated that he committed the offense
charged in Count Two and would be sentenced as if he were
convicted of that offense. See PSR ¶ 11. Mr.
Walker further agreed that he was responsible for the
distribution of fifteen kilograms of cocaine, delivered to
his co-defendant, Raymond Mainor, on March 8, 2006.
Id. at ¶ 8.
sentencing, the Probation Office determined that Mr.
Walker's base offense level was 34. That level was
increased by two because the activity occurred within a
school zone, bringing his level to 36. He received a
two-level reduction because he met the criteria for relief
under the safety valve provision of Section 5C1.2 of the
United States Sentencing Guidelines, and a three-level
reduction for acceptance of responsibility, resulting in a
total offense level of 31. Mr. Walker was in criminal history
category I which yielded a sentencing guideline range of 108
to 135 months' imprisonment. On January 31, 2008, I
sentenced Mr. Walker to the lowest end of the guideline
range, i.e., 108 months' imprisonment.
2010, Mr. Walker was charged in a superseding indictment in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia (No. 10-CR-162-04) with one count of conspiracy to
possess more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to
distribute, and one count of conspiracy to commit money
laundering. Mr. Walker participated in a drug trafficking
organization that was based in Atlanta, Georgia from 2003 to
2006 during which Mr. Walker obtained large quantities of
cocaine from suppliers in Georgia and transported it to the
Philadelphia area for distribution. The drug transaction
charged in the 2006 Philadelphia case was related to this
conspiracy and was treated as relevant conduct in the Georgia
his arrest in Philadelphia in March 2006 and while in custody
in this case, Mr. Walker had co-conspirators retrieve drug
proceeds and conduct financial transactions on his behalf,
including paying mortgages on his two homes. One
co-conspirator laundered $284, 000 on Mr. Walker's behalf
through a realty company created for this purpose. Another
co-conspirator assisted Mr. Walker in opening an overseas
bank account where he deposited $173, 000. Yet another
co-conspirator helped Mr. Walker purchase a home in Georgia
using $237, 000 in drug proceeds.
Walker entered into a plea agreement with the government in
the Northern District of Georgia. On January 7, 2013, he pled
guilty to the drug and money laundering charges. In the
agreement, Mr. Walker stipulated that he was responsible for
the distribution of in excess of 150 kilograms of cocaine.
The base level for this offense was 38. Mr. Walker received a
two-level enhancement for the money laundering offense, a
two-level enhancement for using a shell corporation to
launder money, and a four-level enhancement for his role in
the offense, bringing his offense level to 46. With a three
level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, his total
offense level was 43. Still in criminal history category I,
his sentencing guideline range at that offense level was life
imprisonment. On September 3, 2013, the Honorable Richard W.
Story of the Northern District of Georgia varied from this
range pursuant to the Section 3553(a) factors, and imposed a
sentence of 102 months' imprisonment to run consecutively
to the 108-month sentence I imposed here.
Walker filed a motion for a sentence reduction pursuant to
Section 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 782 in both criminal
actions. He notes that both of his sentences were treated as
an aggregate sentence of 210 months by the Bureau of Prisons,
and as such, his eligibility for a sentence reduction may be
independently considered in each case. On September 14, 2017,
Judge Story denied Mr. Walker's motion for a reduction to
his Georgia sentence. See Document #512
(10-cr-0162-04). Judge Story held that in re- sentencing Mr.
Walker, he could not go lower than the low-end of the amended
guideline range of 324 months' imprisonment. See
§ 1B1.10(b)(2)(A). Because the court had already
sentenced Mr. Walker to 102 months, relief under Amendment
782 was unavailable.
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 ...