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United States v. Reeves

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Lynchburg Division

December 12, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JAMIE LEE REEVES, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NORMAN K. MOON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Jamie Lee Reeves's Motion to Reduce Sentence Pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018. Dkt. 43. Defendant contends that he is “Immediate Release Eligible.” This Court concludes that Defendant has not demonstrated entitlement to a reduction in his sentence, and therefore Defendant's First Step Act Motion will be denied.

         Background

         On April 16, 2002, Defendant was charged in a one-count indictment with distributing five or more grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Dkt 45 at 3; Dkt. 43 at 1.

         On June 20, 2002, the Government filed an Information providing notice of a sentencing enhancement based on Defendant's prior record. Dkt. 45 at 3; Dkt. 43 at 1. The 21 U.S.C. § 851 enhancement increased the minimum penalty for Defendant's offense to ten years' incarceration, and minimum term of supervised release to eight years. Dkt. 45 at 3, 9-10; Dkt. 43 at 1.

         On July 29, 2002, Defendant pleaded guilty with the benefit of a plea agreement to the one count of distributing five or more grams of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Dkt. 45 at 3; Dkt. 43 at 1. The plea agreement stipulated to a drug weight of 12.1 grams of cocaine base. Id.

         On October 24, 2002, this Court sentenced Defendant to ten years' imprisonment (the statutory minimum), to be followed by eight years' supervised release (the statutory minimum). Dkt. 45 at 9-10; Dkt. 43 at 1; see Dkt. 16; Dkt. Entry (Oct. 24, 2002) (reflecting terms of Defendant's sentence).

         Defendant served his sentence. And on February 17, 2011, Defendant was released from the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and began his eight-year term of supervised release. Dkt. 43 at 2-3; Dkt. 41-1 at 1. But on August 1, 2014, Defendant was indicted in Lynchburg Circuit Court for possession of cocaine, and, after he pleaded not guilty, that court found him guilty and sentenced him on April 29, 2015 to one year and three months' incarceration. Dkt. 42; Dkt. 41-1 at 1.

         Subsequently, on March 4, 2015, Defendant was charged in Lynchburg Circuit Court with three counts of cocaine distribution (3d or subsequent offense), with offense dates of November 20, 2013, February 6, 2014, and February 11, 2014. Dkt. 41-1 at 2. On November 28, 2017, Defendant pleaded guilty to three lesser charges of cocaine distribution; Defendant was sentenced to one year of incarceration on each count, with all such sentences to run consecutively. Dkt. 42.

         On December 6, 2017, Defendant's probation officer petitioned this Court to revoke Defendant's term of supervised release on account of these violations of his mandatory terms of supervised release. Dkt. 41-1. Defendant admitted guilt to violating mandatory terms of supervised release, and on December 14, 2018, this Court revoked Defendant's term of supervised release and imposed a sentence of 24 months' incarceration, to run consecutively to any state-imposed sentence of incarceration. Dkt. 42.

         As of the issuance of this Memorandum Opinion, Defendant is currently incarcerated. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website calculates his release date will be July 20, 2020. See also Dkt. 57 at 2.

         On February 1, 2019, Defendant filed a motion seeking a reduction in sentence pursuant to the First Step Act. Dkt. 43. On February 4, this Court ordered the Government to respond (Dkt. 44), and, after two motions for extension of time, the Government responded on March 24, 2019 (Dkt. 52). On June 24 and November 21, 2019, Defendant filed two Notices of Supplemental Authority, the second of which cited the Fourth Circuit's decision in United States v. Venable, 943 F.3d 187 (4th Cir. 2019), which resolved one of the primary questions at issue in this case, namely, whether this Court had imposed a sentence for “a covered offense” within the meaning of the First Step Act. The Government has since filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority acknowledging the Fourth Circuit's holding in Venable and “retract[ing] its previous position regarding the applicability of the First Step Act of 2018 to defendants serving terms of incarceration following a revocation of supervised release.” Dkt. 58 at 1. However, the Government argues that the Court should decline to exercise its discretion to reduce Defendant's sentence. Dkt. 58. Defendant's First Step Act Motion (Dkt. 43) is fully briefed and ripe for decision.

         Legal ...


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