United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S
RENEWED MOTION FOR REDUCTION OF SENTENCE PURSUANT TO 18
U.S.C. § 3582(C)(2)
WILLIAM P. JOHNSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's
Renewed Motion for Reduction of Sentence Pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). [Doc. 48, filed November 6, 2018].
The Court, having considered the parties' briefs and
applicable law, finds that Defendant's Motion is not
well-taken and is DENIED.
to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement, Defendant Armando Lugo
Madrid pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute 50
grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of
methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1),
b(1)(B), and aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2. The parties agreed that Defendant should be held
responsible for 117 net grams of a methamphetamine mixture,
resulting in a base offense level of 26. Because of
Defendant's two prior felony drug convictions, the Court
found that Defendant was a “career offender” and
therefore faced a longer sentence. Defendant's adjusted
offense level was increased to 34 due to his career offender
status, and subsequently reduced three levels for acceptance
of responsibility, resulting in a total offense level of 31.
Additionally, due to his career offender status,
Defendant's criminal history category was increased from
Category V to Category VI, regardless of the criminal history
points applicable in his case. A total offense level of 31
combined with Criminal History Category VI results in an
advisory Guideline range of 188 to 235 months imprisonment.
The plea agreement entered into by Defendant stipulated that
the appropriate sentence in that case was 144 months. On July
31, 2012, Defendant was sentenced to a term of 144 months
imprisonment and 4 years Supervised Release.
wake of Amendment 782 of the United States Sentencing
Guidelines, the defendant, on July 12, 2015, filed a motion
requesting that the Court reduce his sentence to
100-months' imprisonment. [Doc. 42, filed May 5, 2015].
The Court denied the motion reasoning that Defendant's
advisory Guideline range was a product of his career offender
status, and his jump from a sentencing range of 84 to 105
months to a sentencing range of 188 to 235 months was because
of his career offender status alone and not related to the
quantity or purity of the methamphetamine involved, and that
his sentence was not the product of the quantity of drugs
possessed, and finding that he was statutorily ineligible for
consideration for a reduced sentence under § 3582(c)(2).
[Doc. 45, filed August 9, 2018]. The Court, relying on
Freeman v. United States, 564 U.S. 522 (2011),
holding modified by Hughes v. United States, 138
S.Ct. 1765 (2018), also found that the parties'
stipulated sentence to a term of 144 months was not expressly
based on a Guideline range and as a result denied a sentence
now renews his motion to have his sentence reduced in light
of the Supreme Court's decision in Hughes, or as
an alternative, based on 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
Sentence Reduction in Light of Hughes
Hughes, the Supreme Court held that a defendant is
not categorically ineligible for Section 3582(c)(2) relief
merely because he entered into a plea agreement pursuant to
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). Under
Hughes a defendant who was sentenced under an
11(c)(1)(C) agreement may seek a sentence correction if his
sentence was “based on” a sentencing guideline
range that was subsequently reduced by the Sentencing
Commission. 138 S.Ct. at 1775. A sentence will be
“based on” a guidelines range “if the range
was a basis for the court's exercise of discretion in
imposing a sentence, ” in that it was a foundation or
starting point for the district court's sentencing
nothing has changed in light of Hughes. The Court
based its sentencing on Defendant's career-offender
status. As a result, he remains ineligible for a sentence
reduction under Section 3582(c)(2) because Amendment 782 and
Hughes had no effect on the career-offender
guideline and therefore did not lower the resulting guideline
range. See United States v. Wallace, 742 Fed.Appx.
354, 358 (2018) (holding that Amendment 782 and
Hughes did not affect sentencing if Court relied on
sentencing range based on a Defendant's career-offender
Sentence Reduction Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
Defendant further argues that based on his alleged
rehabilitation in prison a sentence reduction is warranted
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.
3582(c)(2) provides that a:
court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been
imposed except that ... [, ] in 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 ...