United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CAMERON McGOWAN CURRIE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case comes before the court on Defendant's pro se Motion
for Relief Under First Step Act of 2018. ECF No. 1518. The
Federal Public Defender entered the case and filed an
additional motion. ECF No. 1552. The Government filed a
Response in Opposition. ECF No. 1546. The United States
Probation Office filed a Sentence Reduction Report indicating
Defendant does not qualify for relief under the Act. ECF No.
court has reviewed the above filings as well as the
Superseding Indictment (ECF No. 367), Defendant's Plea
Agreement (ECF No. 618), Transcript of Rule 11 hearing (ECF
No. 1635), and PreSentence Report (“PSR”) (ECF
No. 1536-1), and concludes that Defendant is not eligible for
relief under the First Step Act.
charged in Count 1 of the Superseding Indictment that
knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire, agree and
have tacit understanding with each other and with others,
both known and unknown to the grand jury, to knowingly,
intentionally, and unlawfully possess with intent to
distribute and to distribute cocaine and cocaine base
(commonly known as “crack” cocaine), both
Schedule II controlled substances, said conspiracy involving
5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and 50 grams or more of
“crack” cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United
States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A); All in
violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.
367 at 2. Defendant was also charged in Counts 11 (attempt to
possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of
cocaine), 12 (felon in possession of a firearm), 13 (a
violation of § 924(c)), 19 (possession with intent to
distribute a quantity of cocaine), 20 (possession with intent
to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base), and 36-38
(three counts of use of a communication facility, a
telephone, to facilitate the commission of a felony under the
Controlled Substances Act). Id. at 5-11.
thereafter entered into a Plea Agreement that provided for a
plea to Counts 1 and 13:
The Defendant agrees to plead guilty to Count 1 and 13 of the
Superseding Indictment now pending, which charges (1)
conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms
or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of
“crack” cocaine, a violation of Title 21, United
States Code, Sections 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A); and
(2) possession of a firearm during and in connection with a
drug trafficking crime, a violation of Title 18, United
States Code, Section 924(c).
order to sustain its burden of proof as to this offense, the
Government is required to prove the following:
A. The conspiracy was knowingly and willfully formed and was
in existence on or about the dates set forth in the
B. The defendant joined the conspiracy with knowledge of the
conspiracy's unlawful purpose; and
C. The defendant distributed 50 grams of “crack”
cocaine and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, agreed to the
distribution of those quantities or the distribution of those
quantities was reasonably foreseeable to and within the scope
of the defendant's agreement.
Possible Penalties for 21 U.S.C. § 846
A mandatory term of life, a maximum fine of $8 million
dollars, a term of supervised release of 10 years and a
$100.00 special assessment.
A. The Defendant was engaged in illegal drug trafficking;
B. The Defendant possessed a firearm; and
C. The firearm was connected to and was designed to further
the Defendant's drug trafficking in some way.
Possible Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
A minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of
life to be served consecutively to any other sentence, a
maximum fine of $250, 000, a term of supervised release of
not more ...