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. Mack

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 20, 2019

UNITED STATES
v.
LEONTE MACK, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PETER J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant Leonte Mack has filed a Motion for Imposition of a Reduced Sentence Pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act. ECF No. 128. The Government has responded in Opposition, ECF No. 131, and Mack has Replied, ECF No. 132. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion and will reduce Mack's sentence on Count Two from 84 months imprisonment to 60 months imprisonment, to run consecutive to the sentence on Count One.

         I.

         On May 6, 2009, Mack was charged by Indictment with four counts of criminal conduct: two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. S 922(g)(1) (Counts One and Four), one count of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base, otherwise known as crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. S 841(a)()) (Count Two), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. S 924(c) (Count Three). ECF No. 1. After a four-day trial, a jury found Mack guilty on all four counts. ECF No. 46. The Jury's special verdict on Count Two found the amount of cocaine base attributable to Mack to be "5 grams or more, but less than 50 grams." Id.

         The United States Probation Office prepared a Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") in anticipation of Mack's sentencing. The PSR determined that Mack had a base offense level of 28 pursuant to U.S.S.G. S 2D1.1, attributing between 35 and 50 grams of crack cocaine to him. While the PSR also concluded that Mack qualified as a career offender based on a prior reckless endangerment conviction and a prior robbery conviction, the Government pointed out at the April 8, 2010 sentencing that the reckless endangerment conviction may not be a "crime of violence" under S 4B1.1 and may not trigger the career offender designation. ECF No. 70. Accordingly, the Court declined to apply the career offender enhancement. Based on a final offense level of 28 and a criminal history category of IV, Mack faced a guidelines range of 110 to 120 months imprisonment as to Counts One and Four [1], 110 to 137 months imprisonment as to Count Two, and sixty months imprisonment as to Count Three. Id.

         The Court subsequently sentenced Mack to 120 months imprisonment as to Count One, 120 months imprisonment as to Count Two to run consecutive to Count One, 120 months imprisonment as to Count Four to run concurrent to Count One, and 60 months imprisonment as to Count Three to run consecutive to all Counts. ECF 58. This resulted in a total sentence of 300 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Id.

         Following his unsuccessful appeal to the Fourth Circuit, Mack filed a pro se motion to vacate his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 2255 on August 10, 2012. ECF No. 79. On May 7, 2013, the Court denied the motion. ECF No. 85.

         On October 5, 2016, Mack, through counsel, filed a Motion for a Reduction of Sentence Under 18 U.S.C. S 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, asking the Court to revise his sentence in light of Amendment 782, which reduced the guidelines ranges for sentences imposed for convictions involving crack cocaine. ECF No. 112. Since his total offense level decreased from 28 to 24, his new guidelines range was 77-96 months imprisonment. He requested that the Court impose a sentence of 84 months as to Count One, a 84 months sentence as to Count Two to run consecutive to the sentence on Count One, and a concurrent 84 months sentence as to Count Four, with the sentence on Count Three remaining unchanged. Id. The Government consented, ECF No. 114, and the Court granted the Motion, thereby reducing Mack's sentence from a total of 300 months imprisonment to 228 months imprisonment, ECF No. 115.

         On May 1, 2017, Mack, pro se, filed a motion in the Fourth Circuit asking leave of that court to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. See In re: LeonIe Mack, 17-219, ECF NO.2. Before the Fourth Circuit could issue a ruling on the request, on May 15, 2017, Mack filed another Motion asking the Court to vacate, amend, or set aside his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 117. On May 25, 2017, the Fourth Circuit issued an Order denying Mack's request to file a second 9 2255 motion. ECF No. 119. This Court then found that it lacked jurisdiction over the 9 2255 petition on the grounds that it was a successive petition on March 29, 208. ECF No. 121.

         On September 18, 2019, Mack, through counsel, filed a Motion for Imposition of a Reduced Sentence Pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act. ECF No. 128. He seeks a reduction of his sentence on Count Two from 84 months incarceration to 24 months incarceration, to run consecutive to the sentence on Count One. The Government filed a response in Opposition on October 30, 209. ECF No. 131. Mack filed his Reply on November 12, 2019. ECF No. 132. On November 20, 2019, Mack notified the Court that the Fourth Circuit had handed down its decision in United States v. Wirsing, No. 19-6381. ECF No. 133. The Court then directed the Government to respond by December 5, 2019, ECF No. 134, which it did, ECF No. 135.

         II.

         The starting point for analysis is the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-570, 100 Stat. 3207, which implemented mandatory minimums for offenses involving specific weights of certain drugs including crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Notably, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 contained a 100-to-1 ratio that treated every gram of crack cocaine as the equivalent of 100 grams of powder cocaine. See Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85, 96 (2007). Since then, and as the Fourth Circuit recently described in Wirsing, the 100-to-1 ratio has been heavily criticized, including on the grounds that "it "promotes unwarranted disparity based on race." Kimbrough, 552 U.S. at 98 (citing United States Sentencing Commission, Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy iv (May 2002), available at http://www.ussc.gov/rcongress/02crack/ 2002crackrp.pdf).

         In an attempt to reduce, though not quite eliminate, this inequality, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-220, 124 Stat. 2372 ("FSA"). The FSA increased the amounts of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum sentences for certain trafficking offenses. See Id. Relevant here, the FSA increased the amount necessary to trigger a five-year mandatory minimum sentence from five to twenty-eight grams of crack cocaine. See Id. The FSA "had the effect of lowering the 100-to-l crack-to-powder ratio to 18-to-l." Dorsey v. United States, 567 U.S. 260, 269 (2012)

         The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transition Every Person Act, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018) ("First Step Act'), enacted on December 21, 2018, then allowed Courts to "on motion of the defendant... impose a reduced sentence" for a criminal defendant (1) who was convicted of a "covered offense," i.e., a "violation of a Federal criminal statute, the statutory penalties for which were modified by section 2 or 3 of the [FSA]"; (2) if the offense was committed before August 3, 2010; and (3) if the defendant did not already ...


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.