United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. LEINENWEBER, JUDGE
reasons stated herein, Sedgwick Johnson's Motion to
Reduce Sentence Under the First Step Act (Dkt. No. 237) is
26, 2001, a federal grand jury returned an indictment
charging Johnson and his co-defendants Kalonji McMillian and
Raymond Cooper with: (1) one count of conspiracy to possess
with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a mixture
containing cocaine base ("crack cocaine") and more
than 500 grams of a mixture containing cocaine ("powder
cocaine"), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; (2) one
count of possession with intent to distribute more than 500
grams of powder cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a) (1); and (3) one count of possession with intent to
distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine in violation
of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1) . The case against Johnson and
his co-defendants proceeded to trial by jury on October 15,
October 22, 2002, the jury found Johnson guilty on all three
charges. Pursuant to count one, the jury made a specific
finding that Johnson had participated in the distribution of
more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and more than 500 grams
of powder cocaine.
was sentenced on January 30, 2003. The sentencing court found
Johnson to be a "career offender" under the U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines §§ 4B1.1 and 4B1.2, and
calculated his criminal history category as VI and his total
offense level as 37. The court sentenced Johnson to a
360-month term of imprisonment on all three counts (which was
the low end of the then-applicable guidelines range of 360
months to life), to run concurrently with each other. The
court also sentenced Johnson to five years of supervised
release on counts one and three, and four years of supervised
release on count two, to run concurrently with each other. To
date, Johnson has served approximately 216 months of his
now moves this Court for a reduced sentence under Section 404
of the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat.
5194 (2018) ("the First Step Act"), and Sections 2
and 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub. L. No.
111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 (2010) ("the Fair Sentencing
Act"). Johnson requests that the Court reduce his
360-month sentence for distribution of crack cocaine to a
262-month sentence-the low end of the currently applicable
First Step Act effectively makes the provisions of the Fair
Sentencing Act, passed in 2010, retroactive. Section 404 of
the First Step Act states, in relevant part:
(a) DEFINTION OF COVERED OFFENSE. In this section, the term
"covered offense" means a violation of a Federal
criminal statute, the statutory penalties for which were
modified by section 2 or 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
(Public Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372), that was committed
before August 3, 2010.
(b) DEFENDANTS PREVIOUSLY SENTENCED. A court that imposed a
sentence for a covered offense may, on motion of the
defendant, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, the
attorney for the Government, or the court, impose a reduced
sentence as if sections 2 and 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of
2010 (Public Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372) were in effect at
the time the covered offense was committed.
PL 115-391. Relief under the First Step Act is discretionary.
Id. § 404(c) ("Nothing in this section
shall be construed to require a court to reduce any sentence
pursuant to this section.")
First Step Act limits eligibility to "covered
offenses." See PL 115-391 § 404. When
Johnson was charged, tried, and sentenced, the statutory
sentence for possession with an intent to distribute 50 grams
or more of crack cocaine was ten years to life. 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A) (2003). The Fair Sentencing Act raised
the amount of crack cocaine that triggered that statutory
sentence from 50 grams to 280 grams. 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A) (2019). The Fair Sentencing Act set the
statutory penalty for more than 28 but less than 280 grams of
crack cocaine as between five- and 40-years'
imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. § 841 (b) (1) (B) (iii) (2019).
Therefore, Johnson argues, the ...