United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending and ready for resolution are: (1) a motion to reduce
sentence filed by Petitioner Terrin Anderson
(“Petitioner”) (ECF No. 69); (2) an unopposed
motion to seal filed by Petitioner (ECF No. 76); and (3) a
motion for leave to file a reply (ECF No. 74). The issues have
been fully briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being
deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following
reasons, the motion to reduce sentence will be stayed pending
resolution of Hughes v. United States, No. 17-155,
2017 WL 3324822 (U.S. Dec. 8, 2017) in the Supreme Court of
the United States, but the related motion to seal will be
granted. Counsel filed a reply, and Petitioner filed his own
request to file a reply. Because further briefing will likely
be necessary once Hughes is decided, the court will
accept Petitioner's pro se reply as well.
November 26, 2013, Petitioner pled guilty pursuant to
Fed.R.Crim.P. 11(c)(1)(C) to one count of distribution of 28
grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841 and one count of possession of a firearm in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).
five of the plea agreement is entitled “Advisory
Guidelines.” It states:
The Defendant understands that the Court will determine a
sentencing guidelines range for this case pursuant to the
Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 . . . . The Defendant further
understands that the Court will impose a sentence pursuant to
the Sentencing Reform Act . . . and must take into account
the advisory guidelines range in establishing a reasonable
(ECF No. 47 ¶ 5). Paragraph six explains the United
States Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”)
calculations for both counts, the grouping, the reduction for
acceptance of responsibility and for a timely notification of
intent to plead guilty, and the criminal history.
10, entitled “Rule 11(c)(1)(C), ” states:
The parties stipulate and agree pursuant to Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) that a sentence of 144 months
imprisonment . . . is the appropriate disposition of this
case. This agreement does not affect the Court's
discretion to impose any lawful term of supervised release or
fine or to set any lawful conditions of probation or
(emphasis added). The plea further states that the parties
will “recommend a sentence of imprisonment of 144
months imprisonment” and that the parties could bring
to the court's attention any other relevant information.
(Id. ¶ 11).
November 4, 2014, Petitioner moved to reduce his sentence
pursuant to Amendment 782 to the Guidelines. He was informed
that the Public Defender was representing all defendants who
were eligible. (ECF No. 68). On December 9, the United States
(“Respondent”) responded to the pro se
motion to reduce sentence. (ECF No. 72). On December 31,
Petitioner moved for leave to file a reply. (ECF No. 75). On
February 26, 2016, Petitioner's counsel filed a reply on
his behalf and moved to seal a document. (ECF No. 76).
Motion for Sentence Reduction
Petitioner's plea, the United States Sentencing
Commission has lowered the Guidelines for drug offenses and
made those changes retroactive pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
994(u). Accordingly, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2),
a court can modify “a term of imprisonment
based on” the previous Guidelines range.
§ 3582(c)(2) (emphasis added).
Petitioner argues that “the plea agreement makes plain
that [Petitioner] was sentenced based on the Sentencing
Guidelines, ” and, therefore, his sentence should be
modified. (ECF No. 78, at 3). Respondent argues that the plea
was not based on the Guidelines, ...