United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Gottschall, Judge
Malek Rafati filed a pro se motion to reduce his sentence
pursuant to Amendment 782 of the federal sentencing
guidelines . The government filed a response in
opposition . Mr. Rafati was given several opportunities
to file a reply but did not do so. [165, 166]. For the
following reasons, Mr. Rafati's motion is denied.
to a plea agreement with the government, Mr. Rafati pleaded
guilty to Count One of the Superseding Indictment, which
charged him with conspiring with others known and unknown to
him to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to
distribute and to distribute cocaine [52, 108]. The plea
agreement established Mr. Rafati's base offense level at
38 because he was responsible under the federal sentencing
guidelines for in excess of 2, 000 kilograms of cocaine.
See U.S.S.G. § 2D 1.1 (c)(1). The base offense
level, when combined with a criminal history category of IV,
produced an "anticipated advisory sentencing guideline
range" between 324 and 405 months' imprisonment.
See Dkt. 108, Plea Agreement, ¶ 10(d). By order
of this court on November 14, 2012, Mr. Rafati was sentenced
to 192 months' imprisonment .
Rafati has filed a motion pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2), seeking a reduction in his sentence based on
Amendment 782 to the sentencing guidelines. Section
3582(c)(2) provides that:
[I]n 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
Thus, § 3582(c)(2) allows the court to reduce a
previously imposed sentence where a defendant "has been
sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing
range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing
Commission" retroactively. United States v.
Taylor, 778 F.3d 667, 672 (7th Cir. 2015).
§ IB 1.10(a) provides that:
In a case in which a defendant is serving a term of
imprisonment, and the guideline range applicable to that
defendant has subsequently been lowered as a result of an
amendment to the Guidelines Manual listed in subsection (d)
below, the court may reduce the defendant's term of
imprisonment as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). As
required by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), any such reduction
in the defendant's term of imprisonment shall be
consistent with this policy statement.
U.S.S.G. § IB 1.10(a). The relevant amendment here is
Amendment 782, which "prohibits retroactive application
of its provisions prior to November 1, 2015, " revises
the Drug Quantity Table in U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1, and reduces
the offense level applicable to certain drug offenses by two
levels. See United States v. Hairston, No.
1:00-CR-00042, 2015 WL 3439227, at *1 (N.D. Ind. May 28,
Rafati asserts that the plea agreement provides for a base
offense level of 38, but that consistent with the application
notes to sentencing guideline § IB 1.10(b)(1), his
recalculated base offense level should now be a 36. By Mr.
Rafati's calculations, the original sentencing guideline
of between 324 and 405 months was reduced by 132 months when
he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 196 months'
imprisonment. Consequently, with an adjusted base level of
36, Mr. Rafati maintains that a new, fully adjusted sentence
would bring his term of imprisonment down 62 months to 130
months. The government, meanwhile, contends that Mr. Rafati
is not entitled to relief because: (a) he was sentenced
pursuant to a specific, stipulated term of 192 months in a
plea agreement entered under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C) and
thus his sentence was not tied to a particular guideline
range; and (b) the drug quantity involved in this case (in
excess of 2, 000 kilograms of cocaine), far exceeds the new
cocaine drug quantities listed in guideline §
2Dl.l(c). Accordingly, Mr. Rafati's base offense
level of 38 remains unchanged regardless of changes to
guideline § 2D 1.1(c).
court is compelled to agree with the government on both
bases. First, "[a] defendant who agrees to a specific
sentence in a plea agreement under Rule 11(c)(1)(C) generally
is not eligible to receive a reduced sentence under §
3582(c)(2) because that statute does not grant relief for
sentences based not on a guidelines range, but on an agreed
term." United States v. Scott,711 F.3d 784,
787 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Freeman v. United
States,131 S.Ct. 2685, 2697-98 (2011) (Sotomayor, J.,
concurring); United States v. Dixon,687 F.3d 356,