United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Michael F. Urbanski Chief Unified States District Judge
Ricky Page Reynolds 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 360 months to 151
months, which will result in his immediate release. ECF No.
68. The government does not contest that Reynolds- is
eligible for a reduction in his sentence, but asserts that
the sentence should be modified to 262 months rather than 151
months, followed by a 6-year term of supervised
release. The government asks that if a reduction in
Reynolds'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.
70. Neither party requested a hearing. For the reasons set
forth below, the court will GRANT
Reynolds's request and modify his sentence to 262 months,
but.not less than time served, to be followed by a 6-year
term of supervised release. The judgment will be stayed for
ten days if the Bureau of Prisons determines that Reynolds is
entitled to immediate release.
19, 2000 Reynolds was tried by a jury and found guilty on one
count of possession with intent to distribute more than 5
grams of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1). ECF Nos. 23, 66. The government filed an
Information to establish Reynold's prior convictions
pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (b)(1)(B) and 851,
subjecting him to an increased statutory penalty range of a
minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment due to
at least one prior felony drug conviction. ECF Nos. 10, 66.
PSR it was stated that Reynolds was responsible for 20 grams
of cocaine base. ECF No. 66. The statutory maximum term of
imprisonment for possession of 5 to 50 grams of cocaine base
was 40 years. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) (2000). Based on
the drug quantity, he had a base offense level of 28.
However, he was categorized as a career offender based on two
prior felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a
controlled substance offense, making his total offense level
37. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) (2000) and U.S.S.G.
§ 4Bl.l(b). Coupled with a criminal history category of
VI, his guideline range for imprisonment was 360 months to
life. U.S.S.G. Ch. 5 Pt. A. On August 22, 2000 Reynolds was
sentenced under the then-mandatory guidelines to a term of
360 months to be followed by an 8-year term of supervised
release. ECF Nos. 24, 80. Reynolds has served approximately
229 months and his projected release date is October 28,
2026. ECF No. 80.
time Reynolds 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) (2000). 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 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 Reynolds.
Because he was responsible for 20 grams of cocaine base, if
the Fair Sentencing Act had been in effect in 2000, Reynolds
would have had no mandatory minimum sentence and the maximum
sentence would have been 20 years. 21 U.S.C. § 841
(b)(1)(C) (2000). Taking into account the § 851
Information, the maximum statutory term of imprisonment would
have been 30 years and his total offense level would have
been 34. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) (2018); U.S.S.G.
§ 4B1.1(b)(2). A total offense level of 34 coupled with
a criminal history category of VI yields a sentencing . range
of 262-327 months. U.S.S.G. Ch. 5 Pt. A; ECF No. 80.
Reynolds been sentenced after passage of the Fair Sentencing
Act, the appropriate sentence would have been 262 months
followed by a 6-year term of supervised release. A sentence
of 262 months is the bottom of the sentencing range and
corresponds to the 360-month sentence which was the bottom of
his current sentencing range. Thus, an appropriate sentence
for Reynolds under the First Step Act would be 262 months,
followed by a 6-year term of supervised release. Because
Reynolds has served approximately 229 months, 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
Reynolds's motion to reduce his sentence, ECF No. 68, and
modify his sentence to a total period of 262 months, but not
less than time served, to be followed by a 6-year term of
supervised release. The court finds the sentence 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 Reynolds's release date based on
his amended sentence of 262 months and release him if he has
fully served his sentence.
appropriate Order and amended judgment will be entered. If
Reynolds is entitled to immediate release, judgment will be
stayed for ten days to give the Bureau ...