United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Cameron McGowan Currie, Senior United States District Judge.
case comes before the court on Defendant's Motion for
Relief under the First Step Act of 2018. ECF No.
The United States Probation Office has filed a Sentence
Reduction Report (“SRR”), indicating Defendant is
eligible for relief as his statutory penalty changed, but the
retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act had no
impact on the applicable guideline range. ECF No. 434.
Defendant's statutory sentencing range has changed from
20 years to Life to 10 years to Life, and his supervised
release exposure is eight years instead of 10 years.
Defendant's advisory Guideline range remains 262-327
months. The Government agrees Defendant is eligible for
relief but requests the court deny relief because a reduction
in sentence “would not further the goals of sentencing
outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).” ECF No. 440 at
1. Defendant has not filed a reply.
court will consider the new statutory range, the advisory
guideline range, factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), and any
evidence of post-sentencing mitigation in deciding whether to
impose a reduced sentence of incarceration. Therefore, the
parties shall file, on or before July 15, 2019, any further
submissions relevant to these matters.
was charged in a multi-count indictment with conspiracy to
distribute cocaine and cocaine base and felon in possession
of a firearm. ECF No. 125. On June 12, 2009, he entered a
guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or
more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), 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 one prior felony
drug conviction, subjecting him to an increased mandatory
minimum sentence of 20 years. ECF No. 121.
Rule 11 hearing, the court advised Defendant:
So the way this plea agreement reads then, you will plead
guilty to count 1. As I understand it, you are prepared to
admit that you were involved in a conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute at least 50 grams of crack. The
government would have to be able to prove that conspiracy; it
was willfully and knowingly formed and was in existence
during the time period; that you at some point joined in this
conspiracy with knowledge of the purpose of it; and that
during the time you were a member of the conspiracy you
either personally distributed 50 grams or more of crack, or
agreed to assist others in doing that, or at least it was
reasonably foreseeable to you that that would be what was
occurring. Because you have an 851 information, you will face
a mandatory minimum term of 20 years, to a maximum of life,
without parole, a maximum fine of $8 million, a term of
supervised release of at least 10 years, in addition to the
term of imprisonment, and a special assessment of $100. Do
you understand those penalties you face? The Defendant: Yes,
ECF No. 272 at 20-21.
The Government summarized the evidence against Defendant,
explaining Defendant was involved in four controlled
purchases of crack cocaine, totaling 2.09 grams of crack. . .
. Mr. Barber did not have enough so Mr. Barber went to Mr.
Dixon and Mr. Dixon then provided Mr. Barber with the drugs
to sell to the CI. Mr. Dixon would also then testify that
this pooling happened on more than one occasion . . . on a
few occasions Mr. Barber and Mr. Dixon would pool their money
in order to purchase crack. The evidence would show with the
controlled buys and the historical witnesses that it would be
in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine.
the court inquired of Defendant as follows:
The court: All right. Mr. Barber, were you involved with at
least one other person in an agreement under which the
purpose was to distribute crack cocaine?
The Defendant: Yes - yes, ma'am.
The court: All right. And did you know that this was