United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
S. LASNIK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on defendant Clayton
Roueche's motion to reduce sentence. Dkt. #407.
April 28, 2009, Mr. Roueche pleaded guilty to three counts of
Conspiracy to Export Cocaine, Conspiracy to Export Marijuana
and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Dkt. #257 at
5-6. Under the United States Sentencing Guidelines
(“the Guidelines”), he had a base offense level
of 38. Dkt. #333 at 7; Dkt. #339 at 9; see U.S.S.G
§ 2D1.1(c) (2009). This was subject to a two-level
enhancement because the drugs were smuggled across the border
using non-commercial aircraft, see U.S.S.G. §
2D1.1(b)(3), and a four-level enhancement because of his
leadership role, see U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a). Dkt.
#333 at 7; Dkt. #339 at 9. The government also proposed
two-level enhancements for possession of a dangerous weapon,
see U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1), and for his
conviction for conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. §
1956(h), see U.S.S.G. § 2S1.1(b)(2)(B), to
which Mr. Roueche objected. Dkt. #339 at 10; Dkt. #333 at 7.
Finally, he received a three-level reduction for acceptance
of responsibility. See U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1.
Court applied a total offense level of 41 with a criminal
history category of I, resulting in a Guidelines range of
324-405 months. Dkt. #371 at 37-38. Mr. Roueche was sentenced
to 360 months on December 16, 2009. Dkt. #353. He appealed on
December 21, 2009. Dkt. #354. The Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit remanded the case for resentencing, directing
the Court to “identify and rule on all specific factual
objections that relate to the length of [Mr.] Roueche's
sentence or make express its disavowal of the
information.” Dkt. #380. Mr. Roueche was resentenced to
360 months on February 15, 2011. Dkt. #388.
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
… the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after
considering the factors set forth in section 3553(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. § 3582(c).
modification under § 3582 is a two-step process. First,
the Court must determine if the reduction is consistent with
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10. Dillon v. United States, 560
U.S. 817, 826 (2010). It begins by
“‘determin[ing] the amended guideline range that
would have been applicable to the defendant' had the
relevant amendment been in effect at the time of the initial
sentencing.” Id. (quoting U.S.S.G. §
1B1.10(b)(1)). The Court “generally may ‘not
reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment … to a
term that is less than the minimum of the amended guideline
range' produced by the substitution.” Id.
(quoting U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(b)(2)(A)). Second, the Court
must “consider any applicable § 3553(a) factors
and determine whether, in its discretion, the reduction
authorized by reference to the policies relevant at step one
is warranted in whole or in part under the particular
circumstances of the case.” Id. at 827. The
Court must “consider the nature and seriousness of the
danger to any person or the community that may be posed by a
reduction in the defendant's term of imprisonment.”
U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, cmt. n.1(B). The Court “may
consider post-sentencing conduct of the defendant that
occurred after imposition of the term of imprisonment.”
782 to the Guidelines reduced the base offense levels by two
levels for most drug quantities. See U.S.S.G. §
2D1.1. Those changes are retroactively applied, resulting in
a reduction in Mr. Roueche's base offense level from 38
to 36. See U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10. This in turn
reduces his Guidelines range to 262-324 months. As the
government concedes, Mr. Roueche is eligible for the
reduction. Dkt. #410 at 6.
Roueche's offenses were extremely serious. Dkt. #410 at
7-8; see 18 U.S.C. § 3553. As the Court
observed at his first sentencing hearing, “[t]he
massive amounts of drugs, the highly sophisticated means of
transportation, the huge amounts of money, and the pervasive
presence of weapons all argue[d] for a lengthy sentence,
” especially given Mr. Roueche's leadership role in
the UN gang. Dkt. #371 at 38-39. “In such a case, it
[was] essential for [the C]ourt to fashion a sentence that
reflect[ed] the seriousness of these crimes[, ] that 
provide[d] just and proportionate punishment, and that 
promote[d] respect [for] the laws of the United
States.” Id. “It [was] also important to
protect the people of America and Canada from further
crimes of this individual, and to deter others who might be
determined to pick up the mantle and take the place of Mr.
Roueche at the top of the criminal organization.”
his conduct in prison has been exemplary. The Unit Manager
and Reentry Program Coordinator at the Federal Correctional
Institution, Coleman (“FCI Coleman”) stated in a
letter that Mr. Roueche has successfully acclimated to
“The Bridge to Reentry” residential program, has
“applied himself extensively to the many educational
and rehabilitation programs offered at [FCI Coleman], ”
and is on his way to “becoming a positive contributing
member of society.” Ex. A, Dkt. #407 at 11-12. The
Court is pleased to note that Mr. Roueche has committed only
one infraction while incarcerated, described as a minor
assault. Dkt. #410 at 8. His Progress Report indicates that
he has gained employable skills and receives good work
evaluations. Id. at 13. He has also taken over 50
Education Courses. Id. at 14-15; see Ex. B,
Dkt. #407 at 18-25. Letters from his family members and
friends indicate that he has a support system in place. Ex.
C, Dkt. #407 at 27-35. The Court accordingly finds that a
reduction in his sentence to approximately the midpoint of
the new range at 288 months (24 years) is warranted.
United States v. Zavala-Cervantez, No.
2:06-CR-00016-RHW, 2015 WL 13665040, at *3 (E.D. Wash. Dec.
10, 2015) (imposing a reduced sentence at the lower end of
the new Guidelines range based in part on the defendant's
good behavior while incarcerated).
the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby GRANTS IN PART Mr.
Roueche's motion. The United States Attorney's Office
is hereby DIRECTED to ...