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United States v. Donahue

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

January 9, 2018

UNITED STATES
v.
BOBBY B. DONAHUE

          RULING AND ORDER

          BRIAN A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion for Reconsideration of Order Denying Motion to Reduce Sentence (Doc. 106) and Motion for Modification and Reduction of Sentence (Doc. 110) filed by Defendant, Bobby Donahue. The Government opposes both motions. (Docs. 121, 123). For the following reasons, Defendant's motions are DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Defendant pleaded guilty to a four-count superseding indictment on June 7, 2006. (Doc. 42). On March 20, 2008, the Court sentenced Defendant to a term of imprisonment of 210 months on each count, to run consecutively, followed by a five-year term of supervised release. (Doc. 64). Defendant unsuccessfully appealed. (See Docs. 77, 90). The Court denied two previous motions for a reduction of his sentence. (See Docs. 97, 102).

         Defendant's motion for reconsideration requests that the Court reverse its decision to deny relief under Amendment 782, which was raised in Defendant's second motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 106 at p. 1). Defendant's third motion for a sentence reduction argues that he is entitled to a mitigating role adjustment under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2, pursuant to Amendment 794 of the sentencing guidelines. (Doc. 110).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         This Court has discretion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) to modify a sentence that is based on a sentencing range that the Sentencing Commission subsequently lowers. United States v. Doublin, 572 F.3d 235, 237 (5th Cir. 2009) (per curiam).

         First, the Court must determine whether Defendant would have been eligible for a reduction if the amended guidelines range had been in effect at the time of Defendant's sentencing. Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 826 (2010); United States v. Garcia, 655 F.3d 426, 430 (5th Cir. 2011). In making this determination, the Court does not revisit the factual determinations made at sentencing. See United States v. Hernandez, 645 F.3d 709, 712 (5th Cir. 2011). If the Court determines that Defendant would have been eligible for the reduction, then the Court may, in its discretion, determine whether a reduction is appropriate after considering the applicable § 3553(a) factors. Garcia, 655 F.3d at 431.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion for Reconsideration

         Defendant has not raised any argument that the Court failed to consider when denying his original motion for reconsideration under Amendment 782. Amendment 782 lowered the base offender level for many drug offenses. See United States u. Hernandez, 647 Fed.Appx. 426, 427 (5th Cir. 2016) (unpublished) (per curiam). In its statement of reasons, the Court found that "[Defendant's original offense level was not based on the amount of drugs involved in his offense. His original calculation was based on the Court's determination that he is a career offender within the meaning of USSG § 4B1.1Amendment 782 does not have the effect of lowering the defendant's applicable guideline range." (Doc. 103 at p. 1). Defendant does not provide the Court with any reason to disturb its previous ruling.

         B. Mitigating Role Adjustment

         "Amendment 794 left the text of § 3B1.2 unchanged but made various revisions to the commentary, " and it "introduced a list of non-exhaustive factors that a sentencing court should consider in determining whether to apply a mitigating role adjustment." United States u. Gomez-Valle, 828 F.3d 324, 328 (5th Cir. 2016). However, Defendant does not qualify for a mitigating role adjustment because he was sentenced as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. (See Doc. 104 at ¶ 28). The United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit has held that a defendant with career offender status is ineligible for the minor role reduction under Section 3B1.2. United States v. Cashaw, 625 F.3d 271, 273-74 (5th Cir. 2010). Amendment 794 has no effect on this binding precedent; therefore, Defendant remains ineligible for a minor role reduction.

         IV. ...


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