United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Lloyd Blair has filed a Motion to Reduce Sentence Pursuant to
Title 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), ECF No. 280, based on
Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
U.S.S.G Supp. App. C, Amdt. 782 (effective Nov. 1, 2014). The
Government counters that Blair is not eligible for such a
reduction. For the reasons that follow, the Court will DENY
Blair's Motion to Reduce Sentence.
case has a long history in this Court, which was reviewed
extensively in the Court's November 4, 2016 Memorandum
Opinion. Blair v. United States, No. PJM 08-0505,
2016 WL 6569064 (D. Md. Nov. 4, 2016). For the purposes of
the motion currently before the Court, the following the
facts are pertinent:
November 5, 2008, Blair was charged in an indictment with
fourteen counts of criminal activity, including money
laundering, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, making
false statements, and failing to file income tax returns. ECF
No. 1. He was convicted by a jury of all fourteen counts. ECF
No. 165. The Court sentenced him to ninety-seven months in
custody on Counts One through Eleven, sixty months on Count
Twelve, and twelve months on Counts Thirteen and Fourteen,
all sentences to run concurrently. ECF No. 204.
Fourth Circuit affirmed all of the jury verdicts except with
respect to Count Eleven (Obstruction of Justice), which was
reversed for insufficient evidence. The case was remanded to
this Court for resentencing. United States v. Blair,
661 F.3d 755, 766-70 (4th Cir. 2011).
March 19, 2012, Blair was resentenced in this Court to
ninety-seven months in custody as to each of Count 1 through
Count 10, to be served concurrently; sixty months as to Count
12, to be served concurrently; and twelve months each as to
Counts 13 and 14, also to be served concurrently. ECF No. 242
at 4. At sentencing, the Court accepted the guidelines
calculations of the Pre-sentence Report. ECF No. 249 at
66:19. Blair appealed again to the Fourth Circuit, which
affirmed the Court in full. United States v. Blair,
508 F. App'x 225, 1 (4th Cir. 2013). ECF No. 251 at 1.
subsequently filed a Motion for Vacate under 28 U.S.C. §
2255, alleging thirty-two grounds of ineffective assistance
of counsel at both the trial and appellate levels, which the
Court, as indicated, denied on November 4, 2016.
Blair has submitted a Motion to Reduce Sentence Pursuant to
Title 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), which the Court now
a federal court “may not modify a term of imprisonment
once it has been imposed.” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c);
Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 819, 819 (2010).
Section 3582(c), however, establishes exceptions to this
rule. Among others, the Court may modify a term of
imprisonment “in the case of a defendant who has been
sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing
range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing
Commission.” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The Court may
reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment “after
considering the factors set forth in [18 U.S.C. §
3582(a)] to the extent that they are applicable, if such a
reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements
issued by the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. §
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines provide that “[i]n a case in
which a defendant is serving a term of imprisonment, and the
guideline range applicable to that defendant has subsequently
been lowered as a result of an amendment to the Guidelines .
. . the court may reduce the defendant's term of
imprisonment…” U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10. One such
reduction is Amendment 782, which alters the Drug Quantity
Table, which, in turn, prescribes the base offense level for
drug crimes based on the quantity of drugs involved. U.S.S.G.
§ 2D1.1 The amendment applies retroactively. U.S.S.G.
argues that his sentence should be reduced from 97 to 78
months based on Amendment 782. The Government submits that
Amendment 782 is inapplicable because Blair was sentenced
pursuant to U.S.S.G 2S1.1(a)(2), which was unaffected by the
Amendment. The Court agrees with the Government.
Blair's resentencing, the Court adopted the guidelines
calculations contained in an Amended Pre-Sentence Report
(“PSR”) issued by U.S. Probation and Pretrial
Services. ECF No. 249 at 66:19. According to the PSR, Blair
was assigned a Base Offense Level of 18 based on U.S.S.G.
§2S1.1(a)(2), (Laundering of Monetary Instruments;
Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived from
Unlawful Activity.) Pre-Sentence R. at ¶ 53; ECF No.
280-7. The Base Offense Level was enhanced six levels based
on U.S.S.G. §2S1.1(b)(1) because the laundered funds
were deemed to be proceeds of an offense involving the