United States District Court, D. Utah, Northern Division
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM DECISION
CAMPBELL U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Carlos Armando Galaz-Felix has moved for modification or
reduction of his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2). Mr. Galaz-Felix contends that Amendment 782 to
the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual (Guidelines,
or U.S.S.G.) permits a reduction. Because, as explained
below, the application of Amendment 782 would not alter Mr.
Galaz-Felix's Guidelines sentencing range, the court does
not have the authority to grant Mr. Galaz-Felix's Motion
and denies it.
convicted Mr. Galaz-Felix of conspiracy to distribute 500
grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine,
possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, and unlawful
reentry by a deported alien. At sentencing, the district
court found that the conspiracy of which Mr. Galaz-Felix was
convicted involved the equivalent of 441, 179.2 kilograms of
marijuana, which resulted in an offense level of
thirty-eight. The district court enhanced Mr.
Galaz-Felix's offense by four levels for his leadership
role, gave him a two-level enhancement for possession of a
firearm in connection with the offense, and a two-level
enhancement for his perjury during a motion to suppress.
These three enhancements resulted in a total offense level of
forty-six. Mr. Galaz-Felix's criminal history category
was II, with a Guidelines recommendation of life
imprisonment. The court sentenced Mr. Galaz-Felix to life
Galaz-Felix filed an appeal, arguing that the district court
had committed error in three ways: (1) by denying his motion
to suppress, (2) by admitting drug ledgers into evidence, and
(3) by improperly enhancing his sentence based on judge-found
facts. The appellate court rejected Mr. Galaz-Felix's
first two arguments but remanded for resentencing in light of
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), which
was decided while Mr. Galaz-Felix's appeal was pending.
See United States v. Galaz-Felix, 160 Fed.Appx. 787
(10th Cir. 2005) (“Galaz-Felix I”).
remand, the district court made the same calculations, again
finding that the marijuana equivalent was 441, 179.2
kilograms and the same three enhancements applied. But this
time, although the Guidelines recommendation was still life
imprisonment, the district court considered the factors in 18
U.S.C. § 3553 and found that a reasonable sentence was
360 months in custody, followed by ten years of supervised
Galaz-Felix again filed an appeal to the Tenth Circuit,
challenging the factual basis of the district court's
drug quantity calculation and the three sentencing
enhancements. See Galaz-Felix II, 221 Fed.Appx. at
791. The Tenth Circuit denied his appeal. Id. at
Galaz-Felix asks the court to reduce his sentence, contending
that 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) allows the court to make the
reduction because Amendment 782 had lowered Mr.
Galaz-Felix's Guidelines range.
Mr. Galaz-Felix is correct that 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2)
permits a court to reduce a sentence that was based on a
Guidelines range that is later lowered by the U.S. Sentencing
Commission. But there is an important restriction on the
court's authority. The reduction must be
“consistent with applicable policy statements issued by
the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. §
applicable policy statement for § 3582(c)(2) is found at
U.S.S.G § 1B1.10. This guideline prohibits application
of an amendment if it “does not have the effect of
lowering the defendant's applicable guideline
range.” U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(a)(2)(B).
Amendment 782 does modify the drug-quantity tables to reduce
the base-offense levels for various drug crimes, under
Amendment 782's revised drug-quantity table, the
approximately 441, 000 kilograms of marijuana equivalent for
which Mr. Galaz-Felix is responsible would still result in a
base offense level of thirty-eight. See U.S.S.G.
§ 2D1.1(c)(1) (2014) (assigning a base offense level of
thirty-eight to 90, 000 kilograms or more of marijuana).
Mr. Galaz-Felix had a base offense level of thirty-eight
before and after application of Amendment 782, Amendment 782
does not lower his Guidelines range and he is not entitled to
relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).
foregoing reasons, Mr. Galaz-Felix's Motion (ECF ...