United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division
LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Terrance Robinson's Motion for
Sentence Reduction (Docs. 53, 64), filed pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3582, Sentencing Guideline § 1B1.10, and
Amendment 782. Defendant requests that his 360-month sentence
be reduced to 292 months. For the reasons discussed herein, the
Court DENIES Defendant's motion.
29, 2013, Defendant Terrance Robinson pled guilty to a single
count indictment, which charged him with possession with
intent to distribute cocaine base in an amount exceeding 280
grams in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and
(b)(1)(A)(iii). As a part of his plea agreement, Defendant
stipulated that he was responsible for 404.2 grams of crack
cocaine. (Doc. 27, p. 10). He further admitted that in the
course of his arrest, he attempted to flee from the police,
stealing a patrol car and leading police in a car chase.
(Id.). During the pursuit, Defendant hit another
police unit head-on. (Id.). A deputy continued to
chase Defendant until he ultimately exited the car and fled
on foot. (Id.). Defendant was apprehended shortly
to sentencing, the United States Probation Office prepared a
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”). (Doc.
36). The PSR assigned a base level offense of 32, pursuant to
U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(a)(5) and (c)(4) because Defendant was
accountable for at least 280 grams but less than 840 grams of
cocaine base. (Id. at ¶ 21). A six-level
enhancement was applied for assaulting a police officer
during the flight from his offense. (Id. at ¶
23). Another two-level enhancement was applied for creating a
substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another
person in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement
officer. (Id. at ¶ 25). The adjusted offense
level of 40 was decreased to a final offense level of 37
after assessing a three-point reduction for acceptance of
responsibility. (Id. at ¶¶ 40, 28-31).
Based on a total offense level of 37 and a criminal history
category of six (VI),  Defendant's advisory guideline
sentencing range became 360 months to life. (Id. at
filed no objections to the PSR, nor did counsel for Defendant
raise any objections to the PSR or the guideline calculations
at the October 28, 2013 sentencing hearing. Defense counsel
did argue for a downward variance, remarking that 360 months
to life “is a very long period of time for an
individual that is a retail drug dealer more than anything,
as opposed to being a true drug kingpin, having a number of
people underneath him selling for him and things of that
nature.” (Doc. 46, p. 5-6). Defense counsel further
pointed out that on the date of Defendant's arrest, law
enforcement initially observed Defendant transporting powder
cocaine. (Id. at p. 7). He was not arrested until
after the powder cocaine had been cooked to produce crack.
(Id.). Had Defendant been arrested with the powder
cocaine, his guideline range would be lower. (Id.).
Additionally, Defendant's flight from police was an
adrenaline response, he had no malicious intent to harm
anyone, and he immediately apologized. (Id. at p. 4,
7). The Court rejected these arguments and, after accepting
the PSR, sentenced Defendant to a term of imprisonment of 360
months. (Id. at p. 9-10). The sentence “was
imposed based on the nature, circumstances and seriousness of
the Offense, to promote respect for the law to deter criminal
conduct and to protect the public.” (Id. at p.
10). Defendant waived his right to appeal. (Doc. 41).
27, 2016, Defendant filed a pro se motion for sentence
reduction pursuant to Amendment 782 (Doc. 53), a retroactive
guideline amendment that became effective on November 1,
2014, and had the effect of reducing the base offense levels
for all drug offenses. After conducting a preliminary review
of Defendant's motion and determining that he was
entitled to having his guideline range recalculated in
accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and U.S.S.G.
§ 1B1.10(c) and Amendment 782, the Court appointed the
Federal Defender to represent Defendant. (Doc. 62). As
directed by the Court, appointed counsel filed a supplemental
motion (Doc. 64), which is now before the Court.
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), a district court may modify a
term of imprisonment when the original sentencing range has
been subsequently lowered as a result of an amendment to the
Sentencing Guidelines. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). To be
eligible for a sentencing reduction under § 3582(c)(2),
a defendant must identify an amendment to the Sentencing
Guidelines that is listed in U.S.S.G. §1B1.10(d).
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(a)(1). Amendment 782 reduced the base
offense level for most drug offenses by two levels. U.S.S.G.
§ 1B1.1(d); U.S.S.G. App. C, Amend. 782 (2014).
considering a motion for sentence reduction, a district court
must follow a two-step process. United States v.
Bravo, 203 F.3d 778, 780 (11th Cir. 2000). First, the
court must “determin[e] a new base level by
substituting the amended guideline range for the originally
applied guideline range, and then us[e] that new base level
to determine what ultimate sentence it would have
imposed.” Id. At the first step, only the
amended guideline range is changed - “‘[a]ll
other guideline application decisions made during the
original sentencing remain intact.'” Id.
(quoting United States v. Vautier, 144 F.3d 756, 760
(11th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1113
(1999)). Second, the district court must decide whether, in
its discretion and in light of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
sentencing factors, to retain the original sentence or to
resentence the defendant under the amended guideline range.
Id. at 781.
one, Defendant and the Government agree that as a result of
Amendment 782, Defendant's base level offense is reduced
from 37 to 35. A base level offense of 37 and a criminal
history category of six (VI) produces a new advisory
guideline range of 292 to 365 months. At step two, however,
the parties dispute whether a sentencing reduction is
warranted. Defendant points out that the Court's original
sentence of 360 months imposed a sentence at the bottom of
the guideline range. Defendant argues that, leaving all other
original sentencing determinations unchanged, substituting
the amended guideline range should again result in a sentence
at the bottom of the revised range, or 292 months. Defendant
further urges the Court to take into consideration
Defendant's post-sentencing conduct relating to his
efforts at rehabilitation, including the completion of his
GED and 123 hours of rehabilitative classes. The Government
maintains that a sentence of 360 months, which falls within
the amended guideline range, remains an appropriate sentence,
taking into consideration the circumstances and seriousness
of the offense, the need to provide just punishment, and the
need to protect the public from future crimes of Defendant.
consideration of the § 3553(a) sentencing factors, the
Court concludes that a sentence reduction is not warranted in
this case. The original sentence of 360 months falls within
the amended guideline range of 292 to 365 months and
accurately reflects “the nature and circumstances of
the offense and the history and characteristics of the
defendant.” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1). Defendant
stipulated in his plea agreement to possessing a significant
quantity of crack cocaine. He also admitted to attempting to
flee arrest and, in the process avoiding apprehension,
stealing a police car, engaging in a high speed chase, and
driving head-on into another police vehicle, injuring several
officers. Taking this conduct into consideration along with
Defendant's criminal history and the sentencing factors
found at 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the Court finds that a
360-month sentence adequately reflects the seriousness of the
offense and promotes respect for the law, provides just
punishment for the offense, affords adequate deterrence to
criminal conduct, and protects the public from further crimes
of Defendant. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(A)-(C).
Defendant's motion for sentence reduction is accordingly
DENIED. III. CONCLUSION For
the foregoing reasons, Defendant Terrance Robinson's
Motion for Sentence Reduction (Docs. 53, 64) is
DENIED. Defendant's sentence shall
remain at a term of 360 months.