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United States v. Curry

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

December 13, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAMES C. CURRY (1)

          HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RULING

          ROBERT G. JAMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Motion for Imposition of a Reduced Sentence Pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act, filed by Defendant James C. Curry. [Doc. No. 213] The government opposes the motion, arguing Curry is ineligible for relief. [Doc. No. 214]. Alternatively, the government argues the Court should “exercise its discretion and deny relief based on the sentencing factors provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).” Id. at 1. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds Defendant is eligible for relief under the First Step Act. The Court further finds a sentence reduction is appropriate and will reduce Defendant's sentence to time served, effective March 10, 2020.

         I.

         Background

         In 1997, local law enforcement obtained the assistance of federal law enforcement agencies for an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Derek DeCarlo Parker and Vincent E. Tate.[1] In November of 1999, law enforcement interviewed a confidential informant (“CI”), who advised he and Defendant, James Calvin Curry, had been purchasing cocaine base (“crack”) from Parker and Tate for the previous two months. With assistance from the CI, “plans were formulated to utilize an undercover agent with the aid of the unwitting defendant, James Calvin Curry, to purchase crack cocaine from Derek Parker or Parker's co-conspirators.”[2] Beginning in December of 1999 and continuing for approximately one year, the undercover agent would drive Curry to either Parker or Tate's residence, whereupon Curry would enter the residence, return to the vehicle, and deliver the narcotics to the undercover officer. Over the course of that year, Curry made seven individual crack cocaine purchases for the undercover officer in amounts ranging from 20.75 grams to 51.5 grams. In the PSR, Curry was additionally held accountable for making arrangements on one occasion for the undercover agent to make a direct purchase of 101.8 grams of cocaine base from Parker. The PSR estimated Curry was responsible for 1, 472.2 grams of cocaine base during the existence of the conspiracy, resulting in a total amount of 1.812 kilograms of cocaine base attributable to Curry for purposes of calculating his sentencing guideline range.

         On October 24, 2002, a grand jury returned an eight count Indictment against Curry. On March 12, 2003, the government filed an Information and Notice of Prior Narcotics Convictions pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851. On September 24, 2003, Curry was convicted at trial on all eight counts, to wit:

Count 1: Conspiracy to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 2: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 3: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 4: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 5: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 6: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 7: Distribution of fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Count 8: Distribution of five (5) grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 ...

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