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United States v. Saylor

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky

June 21, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF
v.
THOMAS SAYLOR, DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Thomas Saylor's pro se Motion for Modification of Sentence. [R. 64.] The United States (hereinafter “the Government”) responded. [R. 66.] This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons stated herein, Saylor's Motion for Modification of Sentence, [R. 64], is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         On June 15, 2016, Thomas Saylor pleaded guilty to advertising or soliciting material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and two counts of transportation of child pornography. [R. 51 at 2 (Judgment and Commitment Order).] This Court ordered Saylor committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a total term of 300 months. [Id. at 3.] The Court further stated: “The term of imprisonment imposed herein shall run consecutively to the sentence of imprisonment the defendant is presently serving in Jefferson County Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky, Case Number 11-CR-2601.” [Id. (emphasis added).] Currently, Saylor is serving five years at a state penal institution for violation of his probation conditions. [R. 49 at 9, ¶ 42 (Final PSR); R. 64 at 2 (Saylor Motion for Modification); R. 66 at 1 (Government Response).]

         Saylor now moves the Court to modify his sentence. [R. 64.] Specifically, he asks the Court to allow his federal sentence to run concurrently with his state sentence for a total term of 25 years and to allow him to serve the entire time in a state penal institution. [Id. at 1.]

         DISCUSSION

         As an initial matter, the Court notes that district courts may modify a defendant's sentence after it has been imposed under only the limited set of circumstances set out in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). See United States v. Williams, 607 F.3d 1123, 1125 (6th Cir. 2010) (“Unless the basis for resentencing falls within one of the specific categories authorized by section 3582(c), the district court lack[s] jurisdiction to consider [the defendant's] request.”) Saylor has not argued that any of those circumstances apply here nor does the Court find that any apply.[1]Thus, the Court finds that it does not possess the necessary jurisdiction to entertain Defendant's motion. However, out of an abundance of caution, the Court will address the specific statutes cited by Saylor in support of his motion.

         Saylor cites two statutes to support his request that the Court allow his federal sentence to run concurrently with his state sentence. First, he claims that the Court has the authority to change his sentence under Kentucky Revised Statute 532.110. [R. 64 at 2.] The Government responds that “federal court judges are not subject to state law when a federal law applies.” [R. 66 at 2.] The Court agrees. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution provides that the laws of the United States “shall be the supreme law of the land . . ..” U.S. Const. art VI, cl. 2. Consistent with that command, the Supreme Court has “long recognized that state laws that conflict with federal law are ‘without effect.'” Altria Grp., Inc. v. Good, 555 U.S. 70, 76 (2008) (quoting Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U.S. 725, 746 (1981)). Even if “a state court may express its intent that a defendant's state sentence run concurrently with a previously imposed federal sentence, this intent is not binding on federal courts or the BOP.” Davenport v. Ormond, No. 6: 16-295-DCR, 2017 WL 4230400, at *4 (E.D. Ky. Sept. 20, 2017) (quoting United States v. Allen, 124 Fed.Appx. 719, 720 (3d Cir. 2005)). Thus, Kentucky law does not apply here as 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a) also addresses multiple sentences of imprisonment.

         Secondly, Saylor quotes 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a), which states:

(a) Imposition of concurrent or consecutive terms.--If multiple terms of imprisonment are imposed on a defendant at the same time, or if a term of imprisonment is imposed on a defendant who is already subject to an undischarged term of imprisonment, the terms may run concurrently or consecutively, except that the terms may not run consecutively for an attempt and for another offense that was the sole objective of the attempt. Multiple terms of imprisonment imposed at the same time run concurrently unless the court orders or the statute mandates that the terms are to run consecutively. Multiple terms of imprisonment imposed at different times run consecutively unless the court orders that the terms are to run concurrently.

18 U.S.C. § 3584(a) (emphasis added). In compliance with the statute, the Court ordered Saylor's previously imposed five year state term to run consecutively with his 300 month federal term. [R. 51 at 3.] Without further argument from Saylor on the interpretation of this statute, the Court finds that it properly ordered the two terms to run consecutively.

         Saylor also requests the Court allow him to serve his full sentence in a state penal institution, citing 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) and (f) for support. [R. 64 at 3.] Section 3621(b) states:

(b) Place of imprisonment.--The Bureau of Prisons shall designate the place of the prisoner's imprisonment. The Bureau may designate any available penal or correctional facility that meets minimum standards of health and habitability established by the Bureau, whether maintained by the Federal Government or otherwise and whether within or without the judicial district in which the ...

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