United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the Motion (Doc. 216) of
Defendant Mario Taylor to Reduce Sentence Under Section 404
of the First Step Act. For the following reasons, the Motion
February 6, 2007, Defendant pleaded guilty to Count 1,
Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine Base, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 846 and 841(b)(1)(B); and Count 4, Possession
of Cocaine Base with Intent to Distribute, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(iii). Regarding Count
1, Defendant admitted in his Plea Agreement to possessing
42.03 grams of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”).
With respect to Count 4, Defendant admitted to possessing
between 5 and 50 grams of crack cocaine. On May 7, 2007, the
Court sentenced Defendant to 262 months imprisonment and 8
years supervised release.
December 21, 2018, President Trump signed into law the First
Step Act of 2018.Section 404 of the First Step Act
“applies retroactively the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
which reduced mandatory minimum penalties for crack cocaine
March 11, 2019, Defendant filed his Motion seeking relief
under the First Step Act. (Doc. 216). The Government filed
its Opposition on March 21, 2019. (Doc. 217).
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
federal courts may not modify an individual's term of
imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). An exception to this
general rule is contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(B).
Under this Section, a court may “modify an imposed term
of imprisonment to the extent otherwise permitted by
statute...” Id. at § 3582(c)(1)(B). The
First Step Act of 2018 is such a statute that permits the
modification of an individual's term of
court that imposed a sentence for a ‘covered
offense' may...impose a reduced sentence as if sections 2
and 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010...were in effect at
the time the covered offense was committed.” First Step
Act of 2018, PL 115-391, Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat 5194
(hereafter “First Step Act”), § 404(b)
(internal citations omitted). A “covered offense”
means “a violation of a Federal criminal statute, the
statutory penalties for which were modified by section 2 or 3
of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010...that was committed
before August 3, 2010.” Id. at § 404(a)
(internal citations omitted).
are a few limitations before a court may reduce a sentence
under the First Step Act. Specifically, a court cannot reduce
a sentence (1) if the court previously reduced
defendant's sentence under the Fair Sentencing Act; or
(2) if a defendant previously moved under the First Step Act
and a court denied the defendant's motion on the merits.
Id. at § 404(c). Further, a court's
decision to reduce a sentence is discretionary with the
Court. Id. (“Nothing in this section shall be
construed to require a court to reduce any sentence pursuant
to this section”).
Applicability of First Step Act
First Step Act applies to Defendant. Defendant committed a
“covered offense” in that he pleaded guilty to a
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. Section 2 of the Fair
Sentencing Act increased the drug quantities triggering
mandatory minimums for crack cocaine offenses. Further,
Defendant committed the offense before August 3, 2010.
Finally, the Court has neither (1) reduced Defendant's
sentence under the Fair Sentencing Act; nor (2) denied a
previous motion of Defendant under the First Step Act.
Accordingly, Defendant is eligible for a reduced sentence
under the First Step Act.
Reduction of Sentence Under 18 U.S.C. ...