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United States v. Gravatt

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division

June 5, 2019

United States of America,
v.
Brandon Shane Gravatt, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge.

         This case comes before the court on Defendant's pro se Motion for Relief Under First Step Act of 2018. ECF No. 607. The Government filed a Response in Opposition (ECF No. 611), and Defendant filed a pro se Reply (ECF No. 612). The United States Probation Office filed a Sentence Reduction Report indicating Defendant does not qualify for relief under the Act. ECF No. 608.

         The court has reviewed the above filings as well as Defendant's Plea Agreement (ECF No. 282), Transcript of Rule 11 hearing (ECF NO. 613), and PreSentence Report (“PSR”) (ECF No. 608-1), and concludes that Defendant is not eligible for relief under the First Step Act.[1]

         Defendant entered into a Plea Agreement to plead to Count 1 of the Indictment:

The Defendant . . . agrees to plead guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment now pending, Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(a), which charges conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. The elements of this offense are:
a) The conspiracy described in the indictment was willfully formed and was existing on or about the alleged time;
b) The accused willfully became a member of the conspiracy; and
c) The amount of drugs involved in the conspiracy was 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as “crack cocaine”, and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

ECF No. 282 at 1.

         At the Rule 11 hearing, the court advised Defendant:

Now, in order for the government to prove that they would have to prove several things: First of all they would have to prove that this conspiracy or agreement that is alleged in the indictment was willfully formed and was existing at or about the times that the indictment alleges. Secondly, that at some point in time, during the existence of that conspiracy, you willfully became of member of that conspiracy. And the third thing that they would have to be able to prove is that the amount of drugs that were involved in the conspiracy and that were reasonably foreseeable to you were at least 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and five kilos or more of cocaine. Do you understand that that is what the government would have to prove? The Defendant: Yes, ma'am.

ECF No. 613 at 12-13.

         The Government, through FBI Special Agent Michael Stansbury, summarized the evidence against Defendant, explaining Defendant

joined the conspiracy with Terrance Daniels and others named in the indictment in the summer of 2000. . . . [Members of the conspiracy] were introduced to Mr. Gravatt, started purchasing cocaine from him. They made several trips. Other members of the conspiracy . . . made trips also to get cocaine from Mr. Gravatt. The end of December 2000 Mr. Gravatt and his associates travelled out to South Carolina, to Orangeburg, and stayed the week in Orangeburg where they brought cocaine for sale that was distributed in Orangeburg. Then they ...

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