United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge.
criminal case involved multiple charges against ten
defendants. Two of those defendants, Johnnie Butler and
Calvin Wright, proceeded to trial before the Honorable Benson
E. Legg, beginning in January 2010. This Memorandum addresses
Wright's motion for reduction of sentence under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2) and U.S.S.G. Amendment 782, filed by
counsel on his behalf. ECF 642 (“Motion”). The
government opposes the Motion. ECF 647. Wright has replied.
hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. For the reasons
that follow, I shall grant the Motion.
January 29, 2010, following a thirteen-day trial on a Fourth
Superseding Indictment (ECF 321),  a jury in the District of
Maryland convicted Wright of Count One, conspiracy to
distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and conspiracy to
distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(C). See ECF 383
(Jury Verdict, filed 2/2/10). Wright was also convicted of
Count Three, charging possession of a firearm on September
11, 2008, in furtherance of the drug conspiracy, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i). Id. And, he was
convicted of Count Four, possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
Id. Finally, he was convicted of Count Five,
charging possession with intent to distribute heroin on
September 11, 2008, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). Id.
was sentenced on April 28, 2010. ECF 419. According to Judge
Legg, the defendant had a total offense level of 40 and a
criminal history category of IV, with total advisory
sentencing guidelines of 360 months to life imprisonment for
Count One. ECF 426. In particular, Judge Legg sentenced
Wright to a term of 360 months as to Count One; the mandatory
minimum sentence of 60 months, consecutive, as to Count
Three; 120 months, concurrent, as to Count Four; and 240
months, concurrent, as to Count Five, for a total term of
imprisonment of 420 months (35 years). ECF 425 (Judgment) at
Wright noted an appeal. ECF 428. The Fourth Circuit affirmed
on May 18, 2011 (ECF 509) and the mandate issued on June 9,
2011. ECF 511.
August 8, 2012, Wright filed a motion to vacate under 28
U.S.C. § 2255. On August 9, 2012, the case was
reassigned to me, due to the retirement of Judge Legg. On
October 1, 2014, I ordered the appointment of counsel for Mr.
Wright. ECF 594.
filed a post-conviction motion on November 26, 2012.
See ECF 564. On January 15, 2015, during the course
of post-conviction proceedings as to Butler, the government
submitted the affidavit of the former lead prosecutor, George
Hazel. ECF 611-1. By that time, the former prosecutor had
become a member of this Court and, as such, one of my
colleagues. Therefore, on January 16, 2015, I recused myself
from further consideration of the case and requested an
out-of-district assignment of another judge. ECF 612.
February 3, 2015, Butler's case was transferred to Judge
David Faber, who serves in West Virginia. See
Docket. A few days later, Wright's case was also
transferred to Judge Faber.
relevance here, by Order of September 30, 2016, Judge Faber
denied Wright's motion to vacate under § 2255.
See ECF 641. Judge Faber subsequently issued a
comprehensive, well reasoned Memorandum Opinion and Order on
October 13, 2016 (ECF 644), which he subsequently amended
(ECF 648), providing the basis for his denial of Wright's
§ 2255 motion and denying a certificate of
appealability. ECF 648. The Fourth Circuit subsequently
denied a certificate of appealability and dismissed
Wright's appeal on February 22, 2017. ECF 655. The
Mandate issued on April 17, 2017.
October 11, 2016, soon after Judge Faber had ruled, Wright
filed a motion to reduce sentence, through counsel, pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and U.S.S.G. Amendment 782.
See ECF 642. At that time, the case was still
assigned to Judge Faber. The case was reassigned to me on
March 6, 2018 (Docket), for disposition of the motion for
reduction of sentence.
facts are included in the Discussion.