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United States v. McQuerry

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

April 13, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SHANE McQUERRY, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, Chief District Judge.

On March 5, 2015, the Court received a letter from defendant Shane McQuerry requesting contact information for the Public Defender's Office so that he can determine his eligibility for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (DE 55). The Court will construe McQuerry's letter as a motion to appoint counsel and a motion for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 782. The amendment reduces by two the offense levels assigned in the Drug Quantity Table, U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1, resulting in lower guideline ranges for most drug trafficking offenses.

McQuerry pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (DE 52, Judgment). According to the presentence report, the defendant's Base Offense Level under then-existing U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1 was 26. However, the presentence report provided that McQuerry's prior felony convictions qualified him as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, with an enhanced offense level of 34. With a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, McQuerry's advisory guideline range, as a career offender, was 188 to 235 months. The Court sentenced the defendant to 188 months of imprisonment (DE 52, Judgment).

McQuerry is not eligible for a sentence reduction under Amendment 782. Once a defendant is determined to be a career offender under § 4B1.1, the career offender guideline range controls if it is greater than the initial advisory guideline range. U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(b). In this case, the Court calculated McQuerry's sentence based on the career offender guidelines. When a sentencing range is derived from § 4B1.1 and not the Drug Quantity Table in § 2D1.1, Amendment 782 does not apply. See United States v. Thompson, 714 F.3d 946, 949 (6th Cir. 2013) (holding previous amendments to drug quantity table did not apply to lower sentence of career offender); see, e.g., United States v. Sullivan, No. 5:14-cr-7-06, 2015 WL 1524089, at *2 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 3, 2015) (finding defendant not eligible for a sentence reduction under Amendment 782 because his sentencing range was determined by his career offender status); United States v. Nicholson, No. 3:11-194, 2015 WL 403997, at *2 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 29, 2015) (same). Therefore, because McQuerry was sentenced based on the career offender guideline range, IT IS ORDERED that his motion for a sentence reduction (DE 55) is DENIED.

The Court also construes McQuerry's letter as motion to appoint counsel in this matter (DE 55). There is no constitutional right to counsel or a hearing on a motion for a sentence reduction filed under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). See United States v. Harris, 568 F.3d 666, 669 (8th Cir. 2009); United States v. Webb, 565 F.3d 789, 795 (11th Cir. 2009); United States v. Legree, 205 F.3d 724, 730 (4th Cir. 2000); United States v. Townsend, 98 F.3d 510, 512-13 (9th Cir. 1996); United States v. Whitebird, 55 F.3d 1007, 1011 (5th Cir. 1995); United States v. Reddick, 53 F.3d 462, 465 (2d Cir. 1995). Because here it is clear on the record that McQuerry is not eligible for a sentence reduction, the Court hereby ORDERS that his motion to appoint counsel (DE 55) is DENIED.


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