United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon, Judge
December 22, 2015, defendant filed a pro se motion
seeking a reduction in his sentence based on Amendment 782
and the retroactive drug quantity guidelines (Doc. 70).
Pursuant to this Court's protocol, the matter was
referred to the federal public defender (Doc. 71).
Thereafter, the federal public defender entered an appearance
on behalf of the defendant and filed an amended motion to
reduce sentence on the defendant's behalf (Doc. 76 and
77). The government opposes the motion to reduce (Doc. 79).
Based on the record and the following, the Court DENIES the
motion to reduce sentence.
September 19, 2013, Teague was charged by Indictment with two
counts of Distribution of Cocaine Base. On February 7, 2013,
absent a plea agreement, the defendant pleaded guilty (Doc.
39 ¶ 5). The United States Probation Office (USPO)
determined that the defendant's Guidelines Offense Level
was 34, and combined with a Criminal History Category of VI,
the Guidelines sentencing range was 262-327 month's
imprisonment (Doc. 39 ¶ 86). This calculation was based
upon the defendant's classification as a Career Offender
under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 (Doc. 39 ¶¶ 30, 43).
Had the defendant not been classified as a Career Offender,
his Guidelines Offense Level would have been 20 and his
Criminal History Category would have been V, for a Guidelines
sentencing range of 63-78 months' imprisonment (Doc. 65).
sentencing hearing was held on September 6, 2013 (Doc. 65).
The Court adopted the findings of the probation officer in
the presentence report following arguments of counsel
relative to objections filed by the defendant. Id.
Following the hearing, the Court issued a Sentencing
Memorandum. The Court concluded the Career Offender guideline
range was applicable to the defendant, remarking as follows:
At the sentencing hearing, there was vigorous argument
regarding the guideline calculation in this case. Ultimately
the Court found that the correct calculation and application
of the guideline manual included an enhancement for
obstruction of justice, as heretofore mentioned, no reduction
for acceptance of responsibility in correspondence with that
same conduct, and the simple application of the career
offender treatment based on past qualifying convictions.
(Doc. 65 p. 9).
the applicability of the Career Offender guideline, the Court
concluded the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
warranted imposition of a lower sentence. Considering these
factors, the Court explained it could not “accept the
advice of the Sentencing Commission” because the
defendant “is not the kind of defendant for which [the
career offender] label is intended to be applied or if he is,
the Court reject[ed] that application outright.” (Doc.
65 p. 16). Using the Guidelines sentencing range which would
have applied but for the Career Offender classification as a
reference point, the Court concluded a sentence of 78
months' imprisonment was appropriate and further
explained as follows:
The Court finds this sentence will properly account for the
seriousness of the instant offense, promote respect for the
law in someone who has spent little too little time in each
of his prior prison incarcerations, will provide just
punishment for his crime while sending an appropriate message
of deterrence to the defendant and others, and protect the
What it does not do is presume that just because Mr. Teague
barely fits the technical requirements of a career offender
label, and even though he only works day in day out as a
petty criminal, that the guideline sentence of decades in
jail is reasonable for a low level dealer like him. What it
does not do is impose a sentence greater than necessary in
direct contradiction to the statutory directive to this
(Doc. 65 pp. 17-18).
on December 3, 2013, the defendant was sentenced to 78