United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Lynchburg Division
K. MOON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Norman K. Moon
Carlos Antwan Walker (“Defendant”) has filed a
motion for reduction of sentence pursuant to the First Step
Act of 2018. (Dkt. 135). The motion has been fully briefed
and is ripe for review. For the following reasons, the Court
will grant Defendant's motion.
multi-count indictment was filed against Defendant on March
2, 2006. (Dkt. 3). On September 27, 2006, Defendant entered a
written plea agreement with the United States pursuant to
Rule 11(c)(1)(C) and pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute
50 grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(A). (Dkt. 40-44). Defendant
later filed motions to reduce his sentence pursuant to
Amendments 706 and 750, but they were denied due to his
career offender status. (Dkts. 62, 63, 90, and 91). Defendant
then filed this motion pursuant to the newly enacted First
Step Act. (Dkt. 135).
404 of the First Step Act of 2018 permits “a court that
imposed a sentence for a covered offense” to
“impose a reduced sentence as if sections 2 and 3 of
the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-220; 124
Stat. 2372) were in effect at the time the covered offense
was committed.” Pub. L. No. 115-015, § 404, 132
Stat. 015, 015 (2018). A “covered offense” is
defined as “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 (Public Law 111-220;
124 Stat. 2372), that was committed before August 3,
of sentences under the First Step Act are governed by 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(B), which states: “The court
may modify an imposed term of imprisonment to the extent
otherwise expressly permitted by statute or by Rule 35 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.” In determining if
modification is appropriate, the Court will first address
whether a reduction is consistent with the First Step Act,
and will then “consider whether the authorized
reduction is warranted, either in whole or in part, according
to the facts set forth in § 3553(a).” Dillon
v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 826 (2010)
parties agree that Defendant's offense of conviction is a
“covered offense” as defined by the First Step
Act. The offense was committed before August 3, 2010 and the
applicable penalties were modified by section 2 of the Fair
Sentencing Act, which “reduced the statutory penalties
for cocaine based offenses” in order to
“alleviate the severe sentencing disparity between
crack and powder cocaine.” United States v.
Peters, 843 F.3d 572, 575 (4th Cir. 2016). As relevant
in this case, section 2 of the Fair Sentencing Act increased
the drug quantities necessary to trigger mandatory minimum
sentences under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1). Pub. L. No.
111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 (2010). Specifically, the threshold
requirement to trigger the mandatory minimum sentence of ten
years under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) was increased from
fifty grams to 280 grams. Id.
Defendant was determined to be a career offender, at the time
of sentencing, his Sentencing Guideline Range was 262-327
months' imprisonment. On December 19, 2006, under the
advisory guidelines and pursuant to the terms of the binding
plea agreement, Defendant was sentenced to 240 months'
imprisonment and 10 years' supervised release. (Dkt.
100). Under the First Step Act, the guideline range for
Defendant's offense, taking into account his career
offender status, is 188 to 235 months' imprisonment.
Court has been advised that Defendant's projected release
date is August 11, 2023. The parties agree that a reduction
of Defendant's sentence to 172 months' imprisonment,
but not less than time served, to be followed by 4 years of
supervised release, is appropriate in this case. After a
review of the record and consideration of the factors set
forth in § 3553(a), the Court determines that this is an
appropriate modification. All other terms of the original
sentence will remain the same.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this memorandum opinion
and the accompanying order to Defendant, all counsel of
record, the United States Probation Office, and the United
States Marshals Service, for delivery to the Bureau of
 Although subsection 3582(c)(1)(B) does
not reference 3553(a) as do other 3582(c) subsections, that
alone does not bar consideration of other factors. While the
Dillon Court analyzed the procedures under §
3582(c)(2), the language quoted is reflected in §
3582(c)(1)(B). Additionally, this approach is mirrored by the
Fourth Circuit's analysis under Rule 35(b), which allows
the Court to “consider other sentencing factors . . .
when deciding the extent of a reduction.” United
States v. Davis, 679 F.3d 190, 195 (4th Cir. 2012);
see also United States Sentencing Commission, Office
of Education and Sentencing Practice, FIRST STEP