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United States v. Muhammad

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RAHMEL MUHAMMAD, Defendant.

          United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York By: Julia Nestor, Assistant U.S. Attorney.

          Rahmel Muhammad Pro Se.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION & ORDER

          ARTHUR D. SPATT United States District Judge.

         On September 19, 2014, the Defendant Rahmel Muhammad (the "Defendant") was sentenced by this Court to 120 months of imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release following a jury trial where the Defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Presently before the Court is a motion by the Defendant to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) and Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (the "USSG"). For the following reasons, the Defendant's motion is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 10, 2012, the Defendant was indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(b)(1)(B)(iii) and 841(b)(1)(C) as well as 18 U.S.C.§ 3551 et seq..

         On March 5, 2013, a jury trial commenced. Ten days later, on March 15, 2013, the jury found the Defendant guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a) and 841(b)(1)(C)

         The Court sentenced the Defendant on September 19, 2014. The Court determined that the total offense level was 32, and that Defendant's criminal history placed him in criminal history category VI. The total offense level was based on the Defendant's status as a Career Offender pursuant to USSG §4B1.1. This resulted in a custodial range of 210 to 262 months, with no mandatory minimum sentence. The Court departed significantly from the USSG and sentenced the Defendant to 120 months.

         On February 16, 2016, the Defendant filed a pro se motion asking the Court to reduce his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) and Amendment 782 to the USSG. The Defendant argues that Amendment 782 to the USSG applies to his sentence and he is therefore eligible for a reduction. The Government filed a response to the Defendant's motion on May 2, 2016.

         II. DISCUSSION

         18 U.S.C. 3582 states, in applicable part, that the Court may modify a Defendant's sentence

in the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o), upon motion of the defendant or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, or on its own motion, the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, if such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.

18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2); see also United States v. Castro, 841 F.Supp.2d 655, 657 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (Spatt, J.) ("In order for a defendant to be eligible for a sentence reduction, the defendant's applicable guideline range must have been lowered by the Guidelines Amendment." (citing U.S.S.G. IB 1.10; United States v. Johnson, 633 F.3d 116, 117 (2dCir. 2011))).

         The Sentencing Commission's policy statement on retroactive reduction of sentences, U.S.S.G. ...


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