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United States v. Zenon

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

August 9, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
CHARLES RENE ZENON (01)

          KAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          Robert G. James, Judge

         Before the Court is a “Joint Motion Agreeing to Eligibility for Imposition of a Reduced Sentence Pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act.” [Doc. No. 458]. Pursuant to the motion, both Defendant Charles Zenon and the United States of America agree Zenon is eligible for a reduced term of imprisonment pursuant to the First Step Act. However, they disagree as to whether the Court should exercise its discretion and reduce Zenon's term of incarceration. Specifically, Zenon requests that the Court reduce his sentence of imprisonment to a total term of 360 months. Id. at 1. The government argues no reduction is appropriate, because Zenon's current sentence “rests at the bottom of his revised, recommended Guidelines range of imprisonment.” Id. The parties agree Zenon's term of supervised release should be reduced to four years. Id.

         I.

         Background

         On June 17, 1992, when Zenon was twenty-one years old, he was charged in a five count Indictment as follows:

Count I: Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 70 grams of Cocaine Base. 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(b)(1)(A)
Count II: Possession with Intent to Distribute 41 Grams of Cocaine Base, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(B)
Count III: Possession of a Firearm during and in relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)
Count IV: Possession with Intent to Distribute 70 Grams of Cocaine Base, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(A)
Count V: Possession of a Firearm during and in relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)

         On February 26, 1993, a jury found Zenon guilty of all counts in the Indictment. A sentencing hearing was held on June 25, 1993. At that time, Zenon's statutory sentencing range was ten years to life on Counts I and IV; five to forty years on Count II; not less than five years on Count III (consecutive); and not less than twenty years on Count V (consecutive). Under the Sentencing Guidelines (which were mandatory at the time of Zenon's sentencing), Zenon's total offense level was 38 and his criminal history category was a level I, resulting in a guideline range of 235 to 293 months incarceration on Counts I, II and IV, 60 months consecutive on Count III, and 240 months consecutive on Count V. Zenon was sentenced at the bottom of the guideline range to a total term of imprisonment of 535 months (i.e., 44 years, 7 months), as follows: 235 months on Counts I, II and IV to run concurrently; 60 months on Count III to run consecutive to Counts I, II and IV; and 240 months on Count V, to run consecutively to Counts I, II, III and IV. Thereafter, in light of retroactive amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines, Zenon's sentence on Counts I, II and IV was reduced to 121 months, thereby reducing his total sentence of incarceration from 535 months to 421 months. Zenon has currently served approximately 321 months of incarceration.

         II.

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