United States District Court, D. Minnesota
H. MacDonald, United States Attorney, and Michael L. Cheever,
Assistant United States Attorney, for plaintiff.
Antwoyn Terrell Spencer, pro se defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REDUCED
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
September 2007, a jury found Defendant Antwoyn Terrell
Spencer guilty of three counts of a ten-count indictment:
Count 1 - conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of
powder cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)
and 846; Count 4 - attempted possession with intent to
distribute 5 kilograms or more of powder cocaine in violation
of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A) and 846;
and Count 8 - money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). (Indictment at 1-5, May 21,
2007, Docket No. 1 (on file with Court); Jury Verdict, Sept.
18, 2007, Docket No. 144.) At sentencing, the Court
determined Spencer's sentencing guideline range to be 324
to 405 months. (Sentencing Tr. at 15-17, Mar. 9, 2009, Docket
No. 321.) The Court sentenced Spencer to 324 months'
imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release on Counts 1
and 4. (Sentencing J. at 2-3, Jan. 15, 2009, Docket No. 294.)
On Count 8, the Court sentenced Spencer to 240 months'
imprisonment (the statutory maximum) with 3 years of
supervised release. (Id.) The sentences were to be
served concurrently. (Id.) Spencer appealed his
conviction and sentence, but the Eighth Circuit affirmed.
United States v. Spencer, 592 F.3d 866, 882
(8th Cir. 2010).
now brings a Motion to Reduce Sentence pursuant to the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010 and the First Step Act of 2018
(“First Step Act Motion”). (First Step Act Mot.,
Apr. 15, 2019, Docket No. 443.) Because Spencer's
offenses are not covered by the First Step Act, he is not
eligible for a reduction in sentencing, and the Court will
deny his First Step Act Motion.
has also filed two motions asking the Court to expeditiously
process his First Step Act Motion, (Mot., May 10, 2019,
Docket No. 451; Mot., May 28, 2019, Docket No. 454); a motion
requesting a sentencing hearing, (Mot., June 14, 2019, Docket
No. 455); and a motion seeking to amend his First Step Act
Motion and asking the Court to stay resolution of his First
Step Act Motion pending the outcome of a habeas petition he
has filed, (Am. Mot., June 21, 2019, Docket No. 456). The
Court will deny these motions as moot.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), a “court may not modify a
term of imprisonment once it has been imposed, ” with
some exceptions. One such exception is when a sentence
modification is “expressly permitted by statute.”
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(B).
Spencer was sentenced, Congress enacted the Fair Sentencing
Act of 2010, which increased the amount of crack cocaine
needed to trigger certain statutory mandatory minimums.
See Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, PL 111-220, Aug. 3,
2010, 124 Stat. 2372. A 10-year mandatory minimum sentence
for offenses involving crack cocaine is now triggered by 280
grams, not 50 grams. See Id. (amending 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(A)(iii)). A 5-year mandatory minimum
sentence for offenses involving crack cocaine is now
triggered by 28 grams, not 5 grams. See Id.
(amending 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B)(iii)). The Fair
Sentencing Act also eliminated the statutory mandatory
minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.
See Id. (amending 21 U.S.C. § 844(a)). However,
the Fair Sentencing Act was not made retroactively applicable
to sentences imposed before its enactment.
2018, Congress enacted the First Step Act, which allows a
sentencing court to “impose a reduced sentence”
on a defendant who committed a “covered offense”
as if the Fair Sentencing Act “were in effect at the
time the covered offense was committed.” See
First Step Act of 2018, PL 115-391, December 21, 2018, 132
Stat 5194, 5222. A “covered offense” is defined
by the First Step Act as an offense (1) whose penalty was
modified by the Fair Sentencing Act and (2) that was
committed before passage of the Fair Sentencing Act.
First Step Act does not make a sentence reduction automatic;
rather, the defendant, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons,
an attorney for the United States, or the court itself must
move for such a reduction. Id. Furthermore, granting
a First Step Act motion is left to the discretion of the
court, and a motion for reduced sentence under the First Step
Act can only be made once. Id.
SPENCER'S FIRST STEP ACT MOTION
jury found Spencer responsible for at least five kilograms of
powder cocaine on both Counts 1 and 4, in addition to finding
him responsible for at least 50 grams of crack cocaine on
Count 1. Because both Counts 1 and 4 involved at
least five kilograms of powdered cocaine, they triggered the
statutory penalty set by 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(ii),
which was not modified by the Fair Sentencing Act. Because
the statutory penalties for Spencer's powder cocaine
offenses in ...