Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Fader

United States District Court, D. Maine

December 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
KIZZY FADER, Defendant

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

         In this action, Defendant Kizzy Fader seeks a sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), the Fair Sentence Act of 2010, and the First Step Act of 2018. (Motion to Reduce Sentence, ECF No. 119.) The Government asks the Court to deny the motion because Defendant does not qualify for a sentence reduction. (Response, ECF No. 124.)

         After a review of Defendant's motion, the Government's response, and the record, I recommend the Court deny the motion.

         Factual Background and Procedural History

         In January 2012, Defendant was indicted on one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1). (Indictment, ECF No. 2.) The indictment also alleged that the penalty provisions of 21 U.S.C § 841(b)(1)(B) applied, which provisions set a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. (Id.) In May 2012, just before trial was scheduled to begin, Defendant decided to plead guilty to the charge. (ECF No. 62.) During the plea hearing, the Court did not accept Defendant's guilty plea because she maintained her innocence. (Plea Hearing Transcript at 15 - 16, ECF No. 97.) The case proceeded to trial the following day, and the jury found Defendant guilty. (ECF Nos. 66, 70.) The jury verdict form asked whether the conspiracy involved at least 28 grams or more of a mixture or substance which included cocaine base, and whether the conspiracy involved at least 280 grams or more of a mixture or substance which included cocaine base; the jury answered both questions affirmatively. (ECF No. 70.)

         The Court determined, consistent with the Presentence Investigation Report, that the guideline sentence range was 151 to 188 months of imprisonment. (Presentence Investigation Report ¶ 49; Sentencing Hearing Transcript at 21, ECF No. 100.) Because the jury determined that the conspiracy involved at least 280 grams of a substance containing cocaine base, which quantity the Court also determined Defendant could have reasonably anticipated would be within the ambit of the conspiracy, the penalty provision of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) applied to Defendant, setting a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment. (Presentence Investigation Report ¶ 48; Sentencing Hearing Transcript at 12 - 13, 18 - 20; Statement of Reasons at 1, ECF No. 92.) In November 2012, the Court sentenced Defendant to 120 months of imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release. (Judgment, ECF No. 91.)

         In December 2012, Defendant appealed to the First Circuit, challenging the Court's decision not to accept her guilty plea. (Notice of Appeal, ECF No. 93.) In October 2014, the First Circuit upheld the Court's decision. (Judgment of the United States Court of Appeals, ECF No. 101.)

         In December 2014, Defendant filed a motion to reduce her sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and United States Sentencing Guideline Amendment 782. (ECF No. 104.) The Court denied the motion in January 2015. (Order, ECF Nos. 106, 107.) In November 2015, Defendant filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and reiterating her arguments concerning Guideline Amendment 782. (ECF Nos. 108, 108-1.) The Court denied the motion in December 2016. (Recommended Decision, ECF No. 117; Order Adopting the Recommended Decision, ECF No. 118.)

         Discussion

         “Congressional enactments have deprived the district courts of their common-law authority to modify sentences at a defendant's behest.” United States v. Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 777 F.3d 37, 38 (1st Cir. 2015). “Once a district court imposes a term of imprisonment, it may modify that term only to the extent authorized by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).” United States v. Griffin, 524 F.3d 71, 83 (1st Cir. 2008).

         Under § 3582(c), the sentencing court may: (1) correct an arithmetical, technical or other clear error within 14 days after sentencing, id. § 3582(c)(1)(B), Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(a); (2) reduce a sentence upon the government's motion within one year of sentencing if the defendant provided substantial assistance investigating or prosecuting another person, id. § 3582(c)(1)(B), Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(b); (3) modify a sentence that was based on a guideline range which the Sentencing Commission subsequently lowered, id. § 3582(c)(2); (4) shorten a sentence for an elderly defendant no longer a danger to others, id. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(ii); and (5) reduce a sentence for extraordinary and compelling reasons, such as terminal illness, serious physical or cognitive impairment, or the death or incapacitation of the caregiver of a minor child, spouse or partner, id. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), U.S.S.G. § 1B1.13 Application Note. Beyond that “handful of narrowly circumscribed exceptions, ” the sentencing court “has no jurisdiction to vacate, alter, or revise a sentence previously imposed.” United States v. Mercado-Flores, 872 F.3d 25, 28 (1st Cir. 2017).

         Because none of the exceptions applies to Defendant's sentence, this Court lacks the statutory authority to modify that sentence now that it is final. Defendant's reliance on § 3582(c)(1)(A) is unavailing. Even if Defendant could demonstrate that she exhausted her administrative appeal rights as required by the statute, she is not at least 70 years old nor has she served at least 30 years in prison (i.e., the requirements for relief under § 3582(c)(1)(A)(ii)), and she has not shown that any extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant a reduction (i.e., the requirements for relief under § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i)).

         Defendant also cites the First Step Act of 2018, P.L. 115-391, in her request for relief. While the Act created additional obligations for the Bureau of Prisons to assist prisoners who might qualify for compassionate release and created a procedure for prisoners to seek compassionate release from the district courts, id. § 603, the Act did not alter the standards for granting relief. See United States v. Fox, No. 2:14-CR-03-DBH, 2019 WL 3046086, at *3 (D. Me. July 11, 2019) (“The First Step Act did not change the statutory criteria for compassionate release, but it did change the procedures, so that the Bureau of Prisons is no longer an obstacle to a court's consideration of whether compassionate release is appropriate.”) As explained above, Defendant has not demonstrated that she qualifies for compassionate release.

         Defendant also cites the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, P.L. 111-220, in her request for relief. The Fair Sentencing Act changed the threshold quantities necessary to trigger the enhanced ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.