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Joyner v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio

June 16, 2017

DOMINIC JOYNER, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOC. 25]

          JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pro se Petitioner Dominic Joyner moves to reduce his sentence.[1] Joyner requests that the Court remove the two-level enhancement under United States Sentencing Guideline § 2D1.1(b)(1) from his presentence report (“PSR”) and other court documents.[2] Joyner reasons that this enhancement prevents him from taking advantage of a one-year sentence credit he would otherwise be entitled to under the prison's Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”).[3] He also requests an evidentiary hearing.[4]

         On December 12, 2001, Petitioner Joyner was charged with Possession of a Cocaine Based Substance with the Intent to Distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A); and charged with being a Felon in Possession of Firearms and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).[5]

         The prosecution dropped the second count.[6] Petitioner Joyner's plea agreement and PSR included a two-level increase under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1) for Joyner's firearms possession while engaged in crack cocaine trafficking.[7]

         At issue is whether the Court has jurisdiction to reduce Petitioner Joyner's sentence. It does not.

         In the sentencing context, “there is simply no such thing as a ‘motion to reconsider' an otherwise final sentence.”[8] A district court may only modify a defendant's sentence as authorized by statute.[9] Once a sentence “has been imposed, ” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) generally prohibits a district court from “modify[ing] a term of imprisonment.”[10]

         Congress grants district courts the authority to modify a final sentence only if it is: (1) upon motion by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons; (2) on the court's own motion if the applicable sentencing guideline has been reduced; or (3) pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 35.[11] A final sentence is only modifiable under Fed. R. Crim. P. 35 if: “(1) it has been vacated and remanded; (2) the government moves to reduce it; or (3) the district court acts within seven days of the original sentence.”[12]

         The Court lacks the jurisdiction to modify Joyner's sentence. The Bureau of Prisons has not moved to reduce Joyner's sentence. Nor has an applicable guideline been altered in a way that modifies Joyner's sentence. Joyner writes that “[u]nder the ‘NEW LAWS', [sic] Joyner would have only received a 130 month sentence at bestwith [sic] all of the enhancement(s).”[13] Despite the fact that the Court construes Joyner's pro se pleading liberally, [14] the Court has no basis to determine which “new laws” Joyner references. Last, none of Fed. R. Crim. P. 35's requirements apply.

         Furthermore, the Court properly applied the two-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1). After searching Defendant's residence, officers recovered “115 grams of crack cocaine, a Sturm Ruger, Model P-90, .45 caliber automatic pistol, serial number 66122239, a Dan Wesson, .22 caliber revolver, serial number 22B001129, and 160 rounds of various types of firearm ammunition.”[15] Defendant does not deny these facts in his motion.

         Accordingly, both a lack of jurisdiction and the merits keep this Court from erasing Petitioner Joyner's 2D1.1(b)(1) enhancement from the record.

         For the reasons above, the Court DENIES Joyner's motion for a reduced sentence. Because Joyner's argument lacks merit, the Court also DENIES his request for an evidentiary hearing.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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