United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
Michael F. Urbanski, Chief United States District Judge
Delont Lucas, represented by counsel, filed a motion to
reduce his sentence pursuant to Section 404(b) of the First
Step Act of 2018 ("the Act"). ECF No. 69. In 2012
Lucas discharged his underlying sentence of 120 months and
began serving a term of supervised release. He was arrested
on additional charges and sentenced to a term of 48 months,
and also sentenced to a consecutive 60-month term for
violation of the conditions of supervised release on the
instant case. Lucas seeks a reduction of his original
120-month sentence under the Act. In the alternative, he
seeks a reduction of his term of supervised release. The
government asserts that Lucas is ineligible for consideration
of a reduction in his sentence because he is not currently
serving a term for a covered offense under the First Step Act
and also asserts that granting him relief would serve no
reasonable sentencing objective. In addition, the government
argues that Lucas is not eligible for relief under the Act
because the drug weight for which he was held responsible
disqualifies him for relief.
reasons set forth below, the court finds that Lucas is
eligible for a reduction in his term of incarceration based
on the revocation of supervised release. However, while Lucas
is eligible for First Step Act consideration, the court
exercises its discretion under the Act to
DENY Lucas's motion to reduce the
60-month term of incarceration he is serving for a violation
of the terms of his supervised release.
24, 2004, Lucas entered into a plea agreement where he pled
guilty to possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or
more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1) (Count 1) and one count of being a felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g) (Count 3). Five other counts were dismissed. ECF No.
30. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(A),
Lucas faced a statutory sentencing range of 10 years to life
on Count 1 and a statutory maximum of 10 years on Count 3.
ECF No. 70.
on 1.49 kilograms of cocaine base, Lucas had a guidelines
base offense level of 36 and received a 2-point increase for
possessing a firearm in connection with narcotics trafficking
and a 3-point decrease for acceptance of responsibility,
giving him a subtotal offense level of 35. He also was found
to qualify as a career offender, which gave him an offense
level of 38, decreased by 3 points for acceptance of
responsibility to 35. Thus, his total offense level was 35.
He had a criminal history category of VI, making his
guideline range for imprisonment 292 to 365 months. U.S.S.G.
Ch. 5 Pt. A; ECF No. 70. The government filed a motion for
substantial assistance on March 10, 2005. ECF No. 34.
18, 2005 Lucas was sentenced to 150 months on Count 1 and 120
months on Count 3, to run concurrently, and a 5-year term of
supervised release. ECF No. 40. On June 30, 2008, Lucas was
granted a sentence reduction based on an amendment to the
sentencing guidelines and was resentenced to a total of 120
months. ECF No. 49.
September 25, 2012, Lucas completed his sentence and began
his 5-year term of supervised release. On August 13, 2014, a
petition for warrant or summons was issued for Lucas
following his arrest for being a convicted felon carrying a
concealed weapon and buying or receiving stolen goods. ECF
No. 50. Pursuant to a Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement, on April 1, 2015 the court
revoked Lucas's supervised release and sentenced him to
60 months, to run consecutively to a 48-month sentence
imposed by this court in United States v. Lucas, No.
5:14-CR-038 (W.D. Va. April 2, 2015).
additional term of supervised release was imposed in the
instant case. Lucas's current projected release date is
December 27, 2022.
First Step Act
time Lucas was sentenced, a violation of § 841(a)(1)
carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a
maximum sentence 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 passed, 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).
undisputed that Lucas committed his offense before August 3,
2010, and his offense carries the statutory penalties which
were modified by Section 2 or 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act.
Nevertheless, the government asserts that because Lucas is
serving a sentence related to violation of the terms of his
supervised release rather than for his underlying drug
conviction, he is not serving time for a covered offense
under the First Step Act and this court lacks jurisdiction to
consider his motion. The government further argues that no
reasonable sentencing objective would be served by reducing
his original sentence to allow him to receive credit against
his current revocation sentence. In addition, the government
argues that Lucas is not eligible for relief under the Act
because the drug weight for which he was held ...