United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
RICHARD MILLS, United States District Judge:
is Defendant Keenan L. Jackson's motion to reduce
sentence under the Section 404(b) of the First Step Act.
directed, the Government has filed a response.
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 amended 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(B) to increase the amount of crack
cocaine a violation of § 841(a) must involve in order to
trigger mandatory minimum and accompanying statutory maximum
sentences set forth in §§ 841(b)(1)(A) and (B).
Prior to the Fair Sentencing Act, an offense involving at
least 50 grams of crack cocaine triggered a 10-year mandatory
minimum and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment,
while an offense involving 5 grams of crack cocaine triggered
a 5- year mandatory minimum and a statutory maximum of 40
years imprisonment. See Dorsey v. United States, 567
U.S. 260, 266 (2012); 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii),
(B)(iii) (2006 ed.).
the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act, it takes 280 grams
of crack to trigger § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii)'s 10-year
mandatory minimum and 28 grams of crack to trigger §
841(b)(1)(B)(iii)'s 5-year mandatory minimum. See
Dorsey, 567 U.S. at 269. The Supreme Court determined
that the Fair Sentencing Act applied to any defendant who was
sentenced after August 3, 2010. See id. at 281. It
did not apply retroactively to defendants sentenced prior to
that date. See id.
404 of the First Step Act makes the changes to §
841(b)(1)(A)(iii) and (B)(iii) by section 2 of the Fair
Sentencing Act retroactive. Specifically, § 404(a)
defines a covered offense as 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.” Section 404(b) of the First
Step Act states “[a] court that imposed a sentence for
a covered offense may . . . impose a reduced sentence as if
sections 2 and 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 were in
effect at the time the covered offense was committed.”
Section 404(c) includes two limitations on the Court's
authority to impose a reduced sentence, neither of which is
applicable in this case.
the Defendant's guilty plea to possession of more than 50
grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and based on
a prior felony drug conviction, the Defendant faced a
mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment and
a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment pursuant to
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii). The Defendant was
sentenced to 262 months' imprisonment followed by 10
years' supervised release.
the Defendant's offense involved at least 50 grams of
crack cocaine, the penalty for his conviction was set by
§ 841(b)(1)(A). Following the enactment of the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010, it takes 280 grams of crack cocaine
to trigger the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. The
Defendant's offense was committed before August 3, 2010,
and it is therefore a covered offense as defined in §
404(a) of the First Step Act. Therefore, the Court may
“impose a reduced sentence as if sections 2 and 3 of
the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 were in effect at the time
the covered offense was committed.” The Government
states that while the Court may be authorized to reduce the
Defendant's sentence under Section 404 of the First Step
Act of 2018, the Court is not required to reduce his
sentence. Because the sentencing guidelines have not changed,
the Government claims the Court should not reduce the
Defendant's offense involved 50.2 grams of crack. Under
the reduced penalties of the Fair Sentencing Act, the
Defendant would be facing a mandatory 5-year term and 40-year
statutory maximum. Because a § 851 notice of prior
conviction was filed, those penalties are increased to a
mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum of life.
motion, the Defendant notes that his career offender status
is based on a prior conviction for possessing less than one
gram of crack and less than 10 grams of marijuana when he was
18, and a robbery conviction in which the offense was
committed two months later. Based on a statutory maximum of
life, his guideline range was 262 months to 327 months'
of the Government's filing of the § 851 notice, the
Defendant's statutory maximum remains life which means
that his career offender guideline range remains the same.
However, the Defendant notes that the one change since the
Defendant was ...