United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Honorable Robert S. Lasnik THIS MATTER comes before the Court
on Petitioner/Defendant's pro se motion for a
reduction in sentence filed on September 22, 2017 (Dkt. 1).
In this motion, Juan Magana-Guzman, a federal inmate
currently serving a 180-month sentence imposed in WDWA
Criminal Case No. CR12-62RSL, seeks a reduction in his
custodial term on the basis of Sentencing Guidelines
Amendments 782 and 794. He contends these amendments should
be applied retroactively to his case, and that they authorize
the Court to grant him a reduced sentence.
order to be eligible for a retroactive reduction,
Magana-Guzman must have been sentenced to a term of
imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has been
lowered by a retroactively applicable Guidelines amendment.
United States v. Waters, 11 \ F.3d 679, 680 (9th
Cir. 2014) (per curiam). Unless all criteria are met, a
district court lacks jurisdiction to reduce
Magana-Guzman's sentence because courts do not have
inherent authority to alter a sentence once imposed. See
United States v. Wesson, 583 F.3d 728, 730 (9th Cir.
defendant who has been sentenced to the applicable mandatory
minimum sentence for the offense of conviction is not
eligible for a reduction in sentence. As the Ninth Circuit
has observed, "[i]t is axiomatic that a statutory
minimum sentence is mandatory" and not optional.
United States v. Sykes, 658 F.3d 1140, 1147 (9th
Cir. 2011). Consistent with that fact, Section
5G1.1(c)(2) of the Guidelines states that a sentence
"may be imposed at any point within the applicable
guideline range, provided that the sentence ... is not less
than any statutorily required minimum sentence." USSG
§ 5G1.1(c)(2). Therefore, where a defendant is subject
to a mandatory minimum sentence, the sentence is never
"based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been
lowered by the Sentencing Commission." United States
v. Paulh, 569 F.3d 1094, 1095 (9th Cir. 2009) (per
curiam) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)). As a result, a
retroactive amendment to the Guidelines cannot reduce a
sentence below the statutory minimum term. Paulk,
569 F.3d at 1095-96.
April 24, 2013, Magana-Guzman entered guilty pleas to five
Count 1. Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A),
Count 2. Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h);
Count 3. Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §1951;
Count 4. Conspiracy to Possess Firearms in Connection with a
Drug Trafficking Offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
Count 8. Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug
Trafficking Offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
carried a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of at least
ten years' imprisonment, and Count 8 carried a statutory
mandatory term of imprisonment of five years, which was
required to be served consecutively to the underlying drug
trafficking sentence. See PSR¶ 97. As a result,
by virtue of his guilty pleas, Magana-Guzman faced a combined
mandatory sentence of not less than 180 months'
applicable Sentencing Guidelines range was significantly
higher. According to the Presentence Report, he was
responsible for conspiring to distribute more than 30
kilograms of heroin and more than 1.5 kilograms of actual
methamphetamine. PSR ¶ 52. This resulted in a base
offense level of 38 for Count 1. PSR¶ 58. The PSR
assigned upward adjustments for: possession of eleven
firearms (); importation of methamphetamine from Mexico
(); money laundering (); and leadership role (). PSR
¶¶ 59-66. He was assigned a downward adjustment for
acceptance of responsibility (-2). PSR ¶ 78. His total
offense level as to Counts 1-4 was Level 44. PSR ¶ 79.
At criminal history category I, Magana-Guzman's
sentencing range for these four counts was "Life."
PSR ¶ 98. The sentencing range for Count 8 was five
years, consecutive to "Life." Id.
sentencing hearing on December 19, 2014, this Court adopted
the Presentence Report without change. See Statement
of Reasons Form ("SOR"), filed under seal, at 1.
The Court then varied significantly below the applicable
sentencing range on the basis of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)
factors, and imposed the statutory mandatory minimum of 180
months' custody (120 months on Counts 1-4, plus 60 months
consecutive on Count 8). See CR12-62RSL, Dkt. 1348
Magana-Guzman is not eligible for a reduction in sentence
based on Amendments 782 and 794, because his sentence was a
mandatory minimum sentence, and not a sentence based on the
Sentencing Guidelines that was lowered by a retroactively
applicable amendment to the ...