United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION & ORDER
ALGENON L. MARBLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Paul A. Hodge's
Motion for Reduction of Sentence under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2) and Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. (ECF No. 32). This motion is fully briefed and
ripe for review. For the reasons set forth below, Mr.
Hodge's Motion is DENIED.
January 28, 2005, this Court sentenced Mr. Hodge under 21
U.S.C § 846 to a term of ninety-six months on one count
of conspiracy to distribute an excess of fifty kilograms or
more of marijuana. (ECF No. 22). This sentence was to run
consecutively with a previous drug related sentence imposed
in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Kentucky. Id. Moreover, upon release, the Court
imposed a three-year term of supervised released.
March 5, 2015, Mr. Hodge filed a Motion for Reduction of
Sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) asking the Court
to reduce the ninety-six-month sentence by two levels. (ECF
No. 28). The Court denied Mr. Hodge's motion due to his
status as a career offender. (ECF No. 31).
17, 2018, Mr. Hodge filed this Motion for Reduction of
Sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). (ECF No. 32). Mr.
Hodge petitioned the Court to reduce his ninety-six-month
sentence based upon Amendment 782 to the United States
Sentencing Guidelines and the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C.
LAW & ANALYSIS
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), district courts may modify an
imposed sentence based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission.
United States v Clardy, 877 F.3d 228, 229 (6th Cir.
1987); see also 28 U.S.C § 944(o). The
modification of a prison sentence involves a two-step
inquiry. Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 826
(2010). First, “[t]he court must determine that the
defendant is eligible for a reduction in his sentence.”
United States v. Thompson, 714 F.3d 946, 948 (6th
Cir. 2013) (citing Dillon, 560 U.S. at 826-27). A
defendant is only eligible for sentence reduction if he was
“sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a
sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the
Sentencing Commission, ” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2),
and the “reduction is ‘consistent with applicable
policy statements issued by the Sentencing
Commission.'” United States v. Riley, 726
F.3d 756, 758 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2)). These policy statements are contained in §
1B1.10. Dillon, 560 U.S. at 826.
of the inquiry under §1B1.10(b)(1), the court
“‘determine[s] 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.” Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827 (quoting
§ 1B1.10(b)(1)). If the first step is satisfied, the
court may then consider whether a reduction is warranted
based on the factors laid out in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
Hodge is ineligible for a sentence reduction. Mr. Hodge was
convicted based on a quantity of sixty-eight kilograms of
marijuana. At the time of his sentencing, that quantity
corresponded to an offense level of twenty-two. See
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 2D1.1(c) (U.S.
Sentencing Comm'n 2004); ECF No. 2. Nevertheless, because
of Mr. Hodge's status of a career offender as defined by
§4B1.1(a), at the time of sentencing, his base offense
level was moved from a twenty-two to a thirty-two with a
criminal history of category VI. (ECF No. 2). Under the plea
agreement, the Government was to recommend a reduction in the
base offense level from thirty-two to twenty-nine. (ECF No. 2
at 4). At sentencing, this Court further departed downward,
on recommendation of the Government, to offense level 23 and
sentenced Mr. Hodge to ninety-six months in prison. (ECF. No.
782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines reduced by two
levels some, but not all, of the base level offenses located
in the Drug Quantity Tables in U.S.S.G. §§ 2D1.1
and 2D1.11. Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing
Guidelines lowered by two levels the offense level for the
quantity of drugs on which Mr. Hodge was convicted.
defendant's sentence is based on status as a career
offender, however, he is ineligible for a sentence reduction
based on amendments to the sentencing guidelines for drug
quantities. See, e.g., United States v.
Charles, 843 F.3d 1142, 1145 (6th Cir. 2016) (finding
that defendant was ineligible for sentence reduction because
he was sentenced, in part, based on status as a career
offender); United States v. Alston, No. 17-5818,
2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3457, at *3 (6th Cir. Feb. 14, 2018)
(citing United States v. Webb, 760 F.3d 513, 520
(6th Cir. 2014)) (“Because Alston's applicable
guidelines range was not based on the § 2D1.1
drug-guideline range but on the career-offender range under
§ 4B1.1, he would not have been eligible for a sentence
reduction under § 3582(c)(2) even if Amendment 782 had
been issued after he was sentenced.”). Essentially,
defendants such as Hodge are considered sentenced based on
status as a career offender, not drug quantity. See,
e.g., Webb, 760 F.3d at 521 (holding that
“applicable guidelines range” was career offender
range, not drug quantity range); Thompson, 714 F.3d
at 950 (“Because the amendment in question has no
effect on the ultimate sentencing range imposed no Thompson
under the career offender guidelines, the district court did
not err in declining to grant his § 3582(c)(2)
motion.”). Because the career offender guidelines were
not changed, Mr. Hodge is ineligible for a sentence
these reasons, Mr. Hodge's Motion for a Reduction of
Sentence Under 18 U.S.C ...