Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Dixon

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

May 22, 2019

United States of America,
v.
Michael Jerrod Dixon, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Cameron McGowan Currie, Senior United States District Judge.

         This case comes before the court on Defendant's Motion for Relief under the First Step Act of 2018. ECF No. 433. The United States Probation Office has filed a Sentence Reduction Report (“SRR”), ECF No. 432, indicating Defendant is eligible for relief. Defendant's statutory sentencing range has changed from mandatory Life imprisonment to 10 years to Life and his supervised release exposure is eight years instead of 10 years. Defendant's advisory Guideline range is now 130-162 months. The Government agrees Defendant is eligible for relief but requests the court deny relief or in the alternative “not grant relief such that Dixon may be entitled to immediate release.” ECF No. 438 at 2. Defendant, through counsel, has filed a Reply in which he urges the court “to sentence him within his revised sentencing range or, in the alternative, to return him to court for a new sentencing hearing where the Government is required to prove its basis for a sentence so much higher than the sentence provided by his guidelines.” ECF No. 439 at 2.

         Background

         Defendant was charged in a multi-count indictment with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. ECF No. 125. On June 9, 2009, he entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), and 846. ECF No. 249 at 43. Prior to the change of plea, the Government filed an Information under 21 U.S.C. § 851 noting Defendant had two prior felony drug convictions requiring a mandatory minimum penalty of Life imprisonment. ECF No. 122. The Government agreed that if Defendant cooperated pursuant to the terms of his Plea Agreement, one § 851 enhancement would be withdrawn and Defendant would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years to a maximum of Life. ECF No. 147.

         Sentencing took place on September 2, 2009. The Government declined to withdraw a § 851 enhancement, taking the position Defendant's failure of two polygraph examinations focusing on a robbery and murder violated the Plea Agreement and resulted in the Government's obligations becoming null and void. ECF No. 243 at 5. Defense counsel did not contest the Government's refusal to withdraw the enhancement.

         During the course of describing the polygraph examinations, the prosecutor reported Defendant had made both inculpatory and exculpatory statements but had ultimately “confessed that he in fact had committed the murder and participated in the robbery. . . .” Id. The prosecutor advised “we . . . still don't think he's giving the full truth, ” Id. at 6, and “we don't think we have all the truth” (id. at 7). The court then inquired:

The court: So his latest statement is that he was the shooter. You don't know if it's true or not.
Mr. Leventis: Right. I mean it's very possible. We're not certain.

Id. at 8.

         Because there was no objection to the Government's refusal to withdraw one of the § 851 enhancements, no evidence concerning the polygraph examinations was introduced, and the court was not required to make a finding on whether Defendant had made false statements or admissions concerning a murder and robbery.[1]

         Defendant was sentenced to Life imprisonment. He has been in custody since January 31, 2009, approximately 127 months, and is now 41 years old. During his incarceration Defendant has committed four disciplinary infractions: possessing an unauthorized item in 2010, possessing a dangerous weapon in 2012, phone abuse-disrupt monitoring in 2012, and interfering with security devices in 2018. He has also completed his GED, drug education and counseling courses, and approximately 18 educational courses.

         Positions of the Parties

         The parties agree on Defendant's eligibility for relief under the First Step Act and that Defendant's statutory range is reduced from Life imprisonment to 10 years to Life. They also agree Defendant's advisory Guideline range is 130-162 months and his supervised release exposure is reduced from 10 to eight years. That is where their agreement ends.

         Defendant takes the position his sentence should be reduced to 130 months or at least a sentence within his revised Guideline range. In the alternative, Defendant argues he should be returned to court for a new sentencing hearing. ECF No. 439 at 2. The Government contends Defendant is not entitled to a new sentencing hearing and “the 3553(a) factors weigh against a reduction for [Defendant] which would result in a time served sentence.” ECF No. 438 at 15. More specifically, the Government argues Defendant

pled guilty to a significant drug offense involving the distribution of multi-ounce quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine. At his change of plea hearing, Dixon admitted that he was responsible for 434 grams of cocaine base, which far exceeds the Fair Sentencing Act threshold of 280 grams. ECF No. 249 at 40. Dixon failed two polygraph examinations before finally admitting to committing a murder and participating in an armed robbery. It is not clear that the Court considered these crimes during sentencing, but certainly these admissions should be relevant in fashioning a modified sentence if the Court so choses. Dixon has admitted to violent behavior. After Dixon's incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons he has continued to violate BOP policies including possession of a straight edge razor. Given his prison record ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.