United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves, United States District Judge.
Quantez Calloway pleaded guilty to distributing five grams or
more of cocaine base and was sentenced to 200 months'
imprisonment in June 2010. [Record No. 37] The United States
Sentencing Commission has identified Calloway as potentially
eligible for a sentence reduction pursuant to the First Step
Act of 2018. In accordance with General Order 19-5 (Mar. 28,
2019), the United States Probation Office prepared an
analysis regarding the First Step Act's impact on
Calloway's sentence. The Court has reviewed the analysis
and concludes that the defendant's current sentence falls
squarely within the recalculated guidelines range and a
sentence reduction is not appropriate.
pleaded guilty to count 1 of the indictment, which charged
him with distributing five grams or more of cocaine base. He
admitted the following:
On or about March 19, 2009, officers arranged a controlled
buy from the Defendant. The Defendant exchanged telephone
communications and then met the confidential informant (CI)
in Covington, Kentucky. The Defendant sold the CI
approximately 6 grams of crack cocaine for $200.00.
On or about March 31, 2009, officers arranged another
controlled buy. The Defendant and the CI exchanged phone
calls and then met in Covington, Kentucky. The Defendant sold
the CI approximately 7 grams of crack cocaine for $240.00.
On or about July 21, 2005, the Defendant was convicted of
three counts of First Degree Trafficking in a Controlled
Substance, all Felonies in the First Degree, in the Campbell
Circuit Court, in case number 05-CR-00118-02. The Defendant
was also convicted of one count of First Degree Trafficking
in a Controlled Substance in the Campbell Circuit Court, in
case number 06-CR-00179.
[Record No. 34]
2009 version of the United States Sentencing Guidelines was
used in Calloway's case. He was assigned a base offense
level of 24, based on the amount of crack cocaine involved in
his offense (12.45 grams). See U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1
(2009). However, Calloway received a career-offender
enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, which raised
his offense level to 37. He received a three-level adjustment
for acceptance of responsibility, resulting in a total
offense level of 34. Calloway had a criminal history category
of VI based on his status as a career offender, resulting in
an advisory sentencing range of 262 to 327 months. He was
also subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and
a maximum of life imprisonment. See 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(B) (Effective: Apr. 15, 2009 to Aug. 2, 2010).
Calloway ultimately received a below-guidelines sentence of
200 months' imprisonment, to be followed by an eight-year
term of supervised release.
courts have limited authority to modify sentences once they
have been imposed. However, a sentence may be modified
“to the extent . . . expressly permitted by statute . .
.” and “in 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 [United
States] Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. §
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (“FSA”) amended 21
U.S.C. § 841, increasing the amount of crack cocaine
required to trigger mandatory minimum sentences. Pub. L.
111-220 (Aug. 3, 2010). Prior to enactment of the FSA,
violations involving five grams or more of a mixture or
substance containing cocaine base resulted in a mandatory
minimum sentence of five years, or 10 years if the offense
took place following a prior felony drug conviction.
Following the FSA's enactment, 28 grams or more of a
mixture or substance containing cocaine base is required to
trigger a mandatory minimum sentence. 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A) (Effective: Aug. 3, 2010). However, under the
current law, violations involving less than 28 grams of a
mixture or substance containing cocaine base carry a maximum
sentence of 30 years if the violation is committed after a
conviction for another drug felony. § 841(b)(1)(C). The
FSA did not apply retroactively to defendants who were
sentenced before the statute was enacted. United States
v. Tillman, 511 Fed.Appx. 519, 521 (6th Cir. 2013)
(citing Dorsey v. United States, 567 U.S. 260
First Step Act (“2018 Act”) was signed into law
on December 21, 2018. Pub. L. 115-391 (Dec. 21, 2018).
Section 404 of the 2018 Act allows courts to reduce
defendants' sentences by applying the FSA retroactively.
However, the Court is not required to reduce the sentences of
defendants who are eligible for a reduction under the 2018
would not have been subject to a statutory mandatory minimum
term of imprisonment had the FSA been in effect at the time
of his sentencing. However, he was not sentenced based on the
mandatory minimum. Instead, his sentence was based on the
applicable guidelines range, which was driven largely by his
career offender status. Since Calloway's offense now
carries a maximum term of 30 years, his offense level under
§ 4B1.1 drops from 37 to 34. Applying the three-level
reduction for acceptance of responsibility, his total offense