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United States v. Watson

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
XAVIER WATSON

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) MOTIONS

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

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         In this action, Defendant Xavier Watson moves to reduce his sentence by 30 days, and he requests the Court order that he serve the remainder of the sentence in state custody. (Motion, ECF No. 282 at 6.) Although Defendant cites 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a) and USSG § 5G1.3(c) in support of the motion, he essentially requests a sentence modification, which is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). In addition, Defendant contends he has not received credit for time spent in pre-trial detention. (Motion, ECF No. 293 at 1.)

         Following a review of Defendant's motions, the Government's response, and the record, I recommend the Court deny the relief requested in Defendant's motions (ECFNos. 282, 293).

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

          In May 2017, following a guilty plea, Defendant was convicted of Hobbs Act robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (Count 2); and aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count 3); the Court sentenced Defendant to prison terms of 37 months on Count 2 and to 84 months on Count 3, to be served consecutively, for a total term of 121 months.[1] (Judgment, ECF No. 177 at 1-2.)

         In February 2018, the Court amended the sentence on Count 3 from 84 months to 78 months (still to be served consecutively); after the amendment, the total prison term was 115 months. (Id.; Amended Judgment, ECF No. 264 at 1-2.) Defendant did not appeal from the conviction or the sentence.[2]

         In October 2018, Defendant filed a motion entitled “Motion Pursuant to 5G1.3(c).” (Motion, ECF No. 282.) In December 2018, Defendant filed a motion entitled “Motion for an adjustment of sentence.”[3] (Motion, ECF No. 293.)

         II. Discussion

         Defendant requests the Court modify his sentence, which is final, by reducing it by 30 days. (Motion, ECF No. 282 at 6.) Defendant contends that if the Court were to grant the requested sentence modification, he would avoid a detainer, currently in effect, that precludes his access to benefits he needs to assist his re-entry into the community. (Id. at 3-5.)

         Neither the statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a), nor the sentencing guideline, USSG § 5G1.3(c), on which Defendant relies for a sentence reduction authorizes the Court to modify his sentence.[4] Rather, sentence modifications are governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3582, which provides that a criminal judgment is final and may not be modified, with limited exceptions that do not apply to Defendant's case.[5] This Court therefore lacks the statutory authority to modify Defendant's sentence. See United States v. Mercado-Flores, 872 F.3d 25, 28 (1st Cir. 2017) (“Subject to only a handful of narrowly circumscribed exceptions, a district court has no jurisdiction to vacate, alter, or revise a sentence previously imposed.”) Defendant additionally asserts, as grounds for a sentence adjustment, that he has not been granted credit for pre-trial detention. (Motion, ECF No. 293 at 1.) The record does not support the claim.[6]

         III. Conclusion

         Based on the foregoing analysis, I recommend the Court deny the relief requested in ...


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