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United States v. Outen

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

October 21, 2019

United States of America,
v.
Alfred Outen, III, 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. 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. 1536.

         The 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.

         BACKGROUND

         It was charged in Count 1 of the Superseding Indictment that Defendant:

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.

         ECF No. 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.

         Defendant 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).

         In order to sustain its burden of proof as to this offense, the Government is required to prove the following:

Count 1
A. The conspiracy was knowingly and willfully formed and was in existence on or about the dates set forth in the Superseding Indictment;
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.[1]
Count 13
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 ...

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