United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
MICHAEL F. URBANSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Timothy L. Brown filed a 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 from 188 months to 151
months, which will result in.his immediate release. ECF No.
47. The government does not contest that Brown is eligible
for consideration of a reduction in his sentence to 151
monuhs to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release.
The government asks that if a reduction in Brown's
sentence results in his immediate release, that the judgment
be stayed for ten days to allow the Bureau of Prisons
sufficient time to process his release. ECF No. 49. Neither
party requested a hearing. For the reasons set forth below,
the court will GRANT Brown's request and
modify his sentence to 151 months, but not less than time
served, to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised
release. The judgment will be stayed for ten days.
October 3, 2007, pursuant to a written plea agreement, Brown
pleaded guilty to one count of possessing more than 5 grams
of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
He also was classified as a career offender based on at least
two prior felony drug convictions. ECF Nos. 18 and 44 at 5.
The accountable drug weight was 19.21 grams of cocaine base.
His base guideline range was 24, based on the quantity of
drugs under USSG § 2D1.1(c)(8), minus 3 points for
acceptance of responsibility, for a total of 21. However,
taking into account his career offender status, his offense
level was 34, minus 3 points for acceptance of
responsibility, which resulted in a total offense level of
31. See USSG §4B1.1(b)(2). Coupled with his criminal
history category of VI, the applicable sentencing range was
188-235 months. ECF No. 44 at 20. On December 14, 2007, Brown
was sentenced to a term of 188 months, to be followed by a
5-year term of supervised release. ECF Nos. 23, 25. Brown has
served approximately 138 months and has a projected release
date of September 7, 2020. ECF No. 45.
time Brown 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. If an offense involves less
than 28 grams of cocaine base, there is no mandatory minimum
sentence and the maximum sentence is 20 years. 21 U.S.C.
First Step Act was passed 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 Brown. If
Brown were sentenced today, his guideline sentencing range,
based on a conviction under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) and
his career offender designation, would be 32, minus 3 points
for acceptance of responsibility. See USSG §
4B1.1(b)(3). With a criminal history category of VI, the
corresponding advisory range for offense level 29 is 151-188
months of imprisonment. ECF No. 45.
Brown been sentenced after passage of the Fair Sentencing
Act, the appropriate sentence would have been 151 months,
followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. A sentence
of 151 months is the bottom of the sentencing range and
corresponds to the 188-month sentence which was the bottom of
his current sentencing range. Thus, the parties agree that an
appropriate sentence for Brown under the First Step Act would
be 151 months, followed by a 3-year term of supervised
release. Because Brown has served approximately 138 months
and is scheduled to be released on September 7, 2020, it
appears that he may be entitled to immediate release when his
good conduct time is factored into his sentence.
reasons stated above, the court will GRANT Brown's motion
to reduce his sentence, ECF No. 47, and modify his sentence
to a total period of 151 months, but not less than time
served, to be followed by a 3-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
law. The Bureau of Prisons is directed to recalculate
Brown's release date based on his amended sentence of 151
months and release him if he has fully served his sentence.
appropriate Order and amended judgment will be entered. If
Brown is entitled to immediate release, judgment will be
stayed for ten days to give the Bureau ...