United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
MICHAEL F. URBANSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Eugene Louis Grady filed an emergency motion to reduce his
sentence pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No.
115-015. He asks that his sentence be reduced to from 120
months to 62 months which will result in his immediate
release, to be followed by four years of supervised release.
ECF No. 287. The government does not contest that Grady is
eligible for consideration of a reduction in his sentence to
62 months and agrees that he is entitled to immediate release
to be followed by four years of supervised release. ECF No.
291. Neither party requested a hearing. For the reasons set
forth below, the court will GRANT
Grady's request and modify his sentence to 62 months, but
not less than time served, to be followed by a four-year term
of supervised release.
October 25, 2004, pursuant to a written plea agreement, Grady
pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute more
than 50 grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 846 and 841(a)(1). He faced a statutory minimum
sentence of 120 months. ECF Nos. 110 and 113. The accountable
drug weight was 240 grams of cocaine base. His guideline
range, based on a base offense level of 34 for the drug
weight, a total offense level of 33, and a criminal history
category of III, was 168 to 210 months. ECF No. 289. On
February 7, 2005 Grady was sentenced to 120 months
imprisonment and a 5-year term of supervised release. ECF No.
138. Grady's current release date is September 5, 2020.
ECF No. 287.
time Grady was sentenced, a violation of § 841(a)(1)
carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a
maximum of life imprisonment if the offense involved more
than 50 grams of cocaine base, and a penalty range of 5 to 40
years if the offense involved more than 5 grams of cocaine
base. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) and (B) (2006). In 2010,
the Fair Sentencing Act was enacted, and Section 2 of the act
reduced penalties for offenses involving cocaine base by
increasing the threshold drug quantities required to trigger
mandatory minimum sentences under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1).
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-220, § 2,
124 Stat. 2372 (2010). Currently, in order to trigger the
10-years-to-life-sentencing range, the offense must involve
more than 280 grams of cocaine base, and to trigger the
5-to-40-year sentencing range, the offense must involve more
than 28 grams of cocaine base.
First Step Act was enacted on December 21, 2018. Section 404
of the act permits a court, upon motion of the defendant or
the government, or upon its own motion, to impose a reduced
sentence for certain offenses in accordance with the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010, if such a reduction was not
previously granted. Offenses qualify for the reduction if
they were committed before August 3, 2010 and carry the
statutory penalties which were modified by section 2 or 3 of
the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. First Step Act of 2018, Pub.
L. No. 115-015, 132 Stat. 015 (2018).
parties agree that the First Step Act applies to Grady.
Because the indicted drug quantity was 50 grams of cocaine
base, if the Fair Sentencing Act had been in effect in 2005,
Grady would have faced a maximum term of 40 years rather than
life imprisonment. In turn, that maximum sentence would have
resulted in an offense level of 27 rather than 33. With a
criminal history category of III, the corresponding advisory
range for offense level 27 is 87 to 108 months of
imprisonment. In addition, his mandatory minimum sentence
would have been 60 months rather than 120 months.
Grady been sentenced after passage of the Fair Sentencing
Act, the appropriate sentence would have been 62 months,
followed by a 4-year term of supervised release. A sentence
of 62 months represents a 28.6% reduction from the low end of
the sentencing range of 87-108 months. Such a reduction
corresponds to his current sentence of 120 months, which
represents a 28.6% reduction from the low end of the 168-210
month sentencing range. Thus, the parties agree that an
appropriate sentence for Grady under the First Step Act would
be 62 months, followed by a 4-year term of supervised
release. Because Grady has served approximately 86 months,
the parties agree that his sentence should be modified to
time served. Grady has not previously moved for a
reduced sentence pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018 and
has not previously had his sentence reduced as if die Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010 applied in his case.
court will GRANT Grady's emergency
motion to reduce his sentence, ECF No. 287, and modify his
sentence to a total period of 62 months, but not less than
time served, to be followed by a four-year term of supervised
release. The court finds the sentence agreed to by the
parties is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, and
accounts for the sentencing factors the court must consider
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), specifically
deterrence, protection of the public, and respect for the
appropriate Order and amended judgment will be entered.