United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Linyard has filed a pro se motion for a reduction in
his prison sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) (ECF
No. 427). For the following reasons, the Court denies his
2004, a grand jury charged Linyard and others with various
drug crimes, including two counts involving 50 grams or more
of crack cocaine. Later that year, a jury convicted Linyard
on all charges against him. The Court sentenced Linyard to life in
prison on each of the two counts involving 50 grams or more
of crack, and 360 months on each of the remaining counts, all
to run concurrently. Linyard appealed. The Fourth Circuit
vacated and remanded for resentencing in light of United
States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). United States
v. Linyard, 153 F. App'x 195 (4th Cir. 2005) (per
curiam). On remand, the Court re-imposed the 360-month
sentences but reduced the two life sentences to 400 months
each, all again to run concurrently. Linyard appealed again.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed, United States v.
Linyard, 210 F. App'x 243 (4th Cir. 2006) (per
curiam), and the Supreme Court denied certiorari, Linyard
v. United States, 551 U.S. 1126 (2007).
2008, Linyard filed his first § 3582(c)(2) motion. He
based his motion on Amendment 706 to the United States
Sentencing Guidelines, which set 4.5 kilograms of crack
cocaine as the minimum amount that could trigger a base
offense level of 38; previously, 1.5 kilograms triggered that
level. Linyard claimed he was eligible for a sentence
reduction under Amendment 706. However because Linyard was
held accountable for over 4.7 kilograms of crack at
sentencing, Amendment 706 provided him no benefit. The Court
therefore denied his motion. The Fourth Circuit affirmed.
United States v. Linyard, 396 F. App'x 935 (4th
Cir. 2010) (per curiam).
2011, Linyard filed a second motion for sentence reduction.
Although he styled the motion as one seeking relief under the
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372
(2010), the Court liberally construed it as a §
3582(c)(2) motion seeking a reduction under Amendment 750 to
the Sentencing Guidelines. Amendment 750 revised the offense
levels applicable to certain cocaine base quantities under
U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(c). The Court denied the motion
because, like Amendment 706, Amendment 750 did not have the
effect of lowering Linyard's guidelines range.
See U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(a)(2)(B). Linyard again
appealed, but the Fourth Circuit dismissed the appeal for
failure to prosecute. See United States v. Linyard,
No. 13-6876 (4th Cir. Aug. 8, 2013).
2014, Linyard filed a third § 3582(c)(2) motion, this
time relying on Amendment 782 to the Sentencing Guidelines.
Amendment 782 further reduced the base offense levels for
drug offenses in U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1. Unlike Amendments 706
or 750, however, Amendment 782 did have the effect of
lowering Linyard's guidelines range. Accordingly, the
Court granted Linyard's motion and reduced his prison
sentences for each count to 324 months, again to all run
concurrently. Linyard nonetheless appealed. The Fourth
Circuit affirmed. United States v. Linyard, 598 F.
App'x 216 (4th Cir. 2015) (per curiam).
in September 2016, Linyard filed the § 3582(c)(2) motion
currently at bar. In the motion, Linyard asserts he is
entitled to a further sentence reduction pursuant to the Fair
Sentencing Act and to Sentencing Guidelines Amendments 706,
715, 750, and 759. The Government has filed a response
opposing Linyard's motion. Accordingly, this matter is
now ripe for consideration.
Court first addresses Linyard's reliance on Amendments
706 and 750. He has previously sought relief under those two
amendments, without success. The Court sees no reason to find
its previous decisions unsound.
Linyard cannot rely directly upon the Fair Sentencing Act to
obtain § 3582(c)(2) relief. See United States v.
Black, 737 F.3d 280, 282 (4th Cir. 2013).
Amendment 715 affords Linyard no relief. After the United
States Sentencing Commission adopted Amendment 706, it
learned of sentencing anomalies whereby some defendants did
not receive the intended benefit of that amendment's
two-level reduction, while others received a greater benefit
than the Commission intended. U.S.S.G. app. C, amend. 715
cmt. (2008). The Commission adopted Amendment 715 to remedy
those anomalies by revising the manner in which courts
determine combined offense levels in cases involving crack
and another drug. Id. In doing so, however, the
Commission stated Amendment 715 “does not apply if the
offense involved 4.5 kilograms or more of cocaine base
because the offenses levels for such offenses were unaffected
by Amendment 706.” Id. That is the case here;
indeed, that is precisely why the Court denied Linyard's
first § 3582(c)(2) motion.
Amendment 759 changed the Sentencing Guidelines in four ways.
See U.S.S.G. app. C, amend. 759 cmt. (2011). Linyard
has not specified which of those ways would provide him
relief. The Court has reviewed all of those changes and finds
that none has the effect of lowering Linyard's applicable
guideline range-the sine ...