United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant Dondanova Lewis's motion for
resentencing under the First Step Act of 2018. Dkt. # 46. For
the reasons below, the motion is denied.
May and July 2006, Lewis's vehicle was stopped on two
occasions resulting in officers finding 23.6 net grams of
cocaine base during the first stop and 44.8 net grams of
cocaine base and a loaded firearm during the second stop.
Dkt. # 30. After he was charged in a four-count federal
indictment, Lewis pled guilty on July 26, 2010 to two counts
of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of a
cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and
(b)(1)(B)(iii), and one count of possession of a firearm as
an armed career criminal in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(2). Dkt. # 28, 30.
plea agreement reflected a resolution reached with respect to
cases then pending against Lewis in both state and federal
court. Id. In addition to pleading guilty to the
three federal charges, Lewis pled guilty in King County
Superior Court to a reduced charge of assault in the second
degree with a firearm enhancement with an agreed 120-month
sentence. Id. at 8. As part of the agreement, the
120-month sentence would run consecutive to an 84-month state
sentence Lewis was already serving for charges related to a
vehicular assault and felony hit and run. Id.
as a part of his plea agreement, Lewis acknowledged that
based on his criminal history, he qualified as an armed
career criminal under federal statute 18 U.S.C. §
924(e)(2). Id. at 3. The parties jointly recommended
that this Court impose a sentence of 188 months of
imprisonment for the federal charges and requested that this
Court direct that the sentence in this case be served
concurrent with the sentence to be imposed in King County
Superior Court following his plea to the assault charge.
Id. at 5-6. The parties further recommended that the
sentence for the federal offenses be imposed consecutive to
the 84-month state sentence for charges related to the
vehicular assault and felony hit and run. Id. Based
on these promises, the United States agreed not to file a
penalty enhancing information alleging any of Lewis'
prior felony drug convictions, thereby limiting the mandatory
minimum prison sentences that would have be applicable.
Id. at 7. Lewis also agreed to waive any rights
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3742 to appeal any sentence
imposed provided that the Court impose a custodial sentence
within or below the joint recommendation of the parties.
Id. at 8-9.
First Step Act
December 21, 2018, the First Step Act of 2018 became law.
See First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132
Stat. 5194, 5194-249 (2018). Section 404 of the First Step
Act of 2018 (“First Step Act”) makes retroactive
the portions of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (“Fair
Sentencing Act”) that lowered the statutory penalties
applicable to certain offenses involving cocaine base (crack
cocaine) as of August 3, 2010. Id. Section 404
DEFINITION OF COVERED OFFENSE.-In this section, the term
“covered offense” means a violation of a Federal
criminal statute, the statutory penalties for which were
modified by section 2 or 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
(Public Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372), that was committed
before August 3, 2010.
DEFENDANTS PREVIOUSLY SENTENCED.-A court that imposed a
sentence for a covered offense may, on motion of the
defendant, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, the
attorney for the Government, or the court, impose a reduced
sentence as if sections 2 and 3 of the Fair Sentencing Act of
2010 (Public Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372) were in effect at
the time the covered offense was committed.
LIMITATIONS.-No court shall entertain a motion made under
this section to reduce a sentence if the sentence was
previously imposed or previously reduced in accordance with
the amendments made by sections 2 and 3 of the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372)
or if a previous motion made under this section to reduce the
sentence was, after the date of enactment of this Act, denied
after a complete review of the motion on the merits. Nothing
in this section shall be construed to require a court to
reduce any sentence pursuant to this section. Id.
the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act, the statutory
penalties for an offense involving 5 grams or more of cocaine
base included a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of
five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of forty years.
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B). Section 2 of the Fair
Sentencing Act changed the threshold quantity for this
provision to 28 grams of cocaine base. Fair Sentencing
Act, 124 Stat. 2372 § 2. After the enactment of the Fair
Sentencing Act, offenses involving anything less than 28
grams of cocaine base were subject to the penalties set forth
in 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Section 841(b)(1)(C) does
not contain any mandatory minimum penalties and provides for