United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOCS. 501]
S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 2004, a federal jury convicted Defendant Norman
Pomales of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
cocaine and/or cocaine base (“crack
cocaine”). On the verdict form, the jury found that
Pomales possessed “5 or more kilograms” of
cocaine and “50 or more grams” of crack
sentencing hearing, the Court found that Defendant possessed
between two and four kilograms of crack cocaine and set his
offense level at 40. The sentencing guidelines recommended a
sentence of 360 months to life. Departing downward, the Court
sentenced Pomales to 240 months imprisonment.
now asks the Court to reduce his sentence under the recently
enacted First Step Act of 2018. For the following reasons, the
Court DENIES Defendant's motion.
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced crack cocaine
sentences and the First Step Act of 2018 made those
reductions retroactive. The question here is whether,
considering these changes, the Court should resentence
Court first considers changes in Pomales' statutory
sentencing limits. The jury found that Pomales' possessed
at least fifty grams of crack cocaine. At the time, this
required the Court to sentence Pomales to between ten years
and life imprisonment. Now, Pomales' conviction requires
a sentence between five and forty years.
Court also considers changes in the sentencing guidelines.
The Court found Pomales possessed between two and four
kilograms of crack cocaine, setting Pomales offense level at
40. Under the new guidelines, he would
likely have an offense level of either 36 or
38. This would produce either a 210-262 or
Pomales is eligible for relief. However,
resentencing remains within this Court's
discretion. For several reasons, the Court declines
to reduce Defendant's sentence.
Defendant's twenty-year sentence remains within the
statutory limits. Further, even with the changes,
Defendant's sentence remains either below or within the
new sentencing guideline recommendation. Finally, considering
the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) sentencing factors, the Court
believes that Pomales' sentence is correct.
Pomales argues that the Court should not have concluded he
possessed between two and four kilograms of crack
cocaine when the jury only found he possessed at least
fifty grams. In support, he cites Alleyne v.
United States, where the Supreme Court held that only a
jury can find facts that enhance a defendant's mandatory
minimum sentence.However, here, the Court's findings
did not increase Pomales' mandatory minimum, only his
guidelines' range, which Alleyne
foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES
Defendant's motion to reduce his sentence.