United States District Court, D. Minnesota
James Neadeau, Defendant, Pro Se, Robert H. Meyers, Assistant
Federal Defender, Federal Defender's Office, counsel for
Michael L. Cheever, Assistant United States Attorney, United
States Attorney's Office, counsel for the Government.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Marcus James
Neadeau's (“Defendant”) motion for a sentence
reduction pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act.
(Doc. Nos. , .) The United States of America (the
“Government”) supports Defendant's motion.
(Doc. No. .)
requests that his sentence be reduced to a term of
imprisonment of time served and a term of supervised release
of eight years. Defendant also requests that if the Court is
not inclined to reduce his term of imprisonment to time
served that the Court grant Defendant a resentencing hearing
in order to make further arguments. The Government agrees
that a sentence reduction lowering both Defendant's terms
of imprisonment and supervised release is warranted, but
requests that he receive a term of imprisonment of 168 months
instead of time served. Alternatively, if the Court is
inclined to reduce Defendant's term of imprisonment to
time served, the Government requests that his term of
supervised release be amended to include at least four months
in a residential re-entry center to support Defendant's
successful transition out of incarceration.
reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendant's
motion for a sentence reduction.
October 8, 2009, a jury found Defendant guilty of a single
count of conspiring to distribute, or possess with intent to
distribute, 50 or more grams of cocaine base, in violation of
21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846.
(Doc. No. 225.) On May 3, 2010, this Court sentenced
Defendant to a term of 240 months' imprisonment, to be
followed by a ten-year period of supervised release. (Doc.
Nos. 292, 293.) Defendant appealed, and the Eighth Circuit
affirmed his conviction and sentence on April 7, 2011. (Doc.
Nos. 328, 329; United States v. Neadeau, 639 F.3d
453 (8th Cir. 2011).) Defendant timely filed a pro
se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his
sentence on the grounds that his trial counsel provided
ineffective assistance through a variety of failures to act.
(Doc. No. 336.) This Court denied the motion, finding that
Defendant's claims lacked merit and did not justify the
issuance of a certificate of appealability. (Doc. No. 352.)
initially moved pro se for a reduction in sentence.
(Doc. No. 476.) This Court granted Defendant's subsequent
motion to appoint counsel. (Doc. Nos. 479, 480.) Defendant,
through counsel, filed his motion to reduce his sentence
pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391,
132 Stat. 5194 (2018) (“First Step Act”), on May
6, 2019. (Doc. No. 482.) The Government filed its response
expressing qualified support for the motion on the next day.
(Doc. No. 483.)
sentencing, this Court articulated its reasoning for the
terms imposed based on careful consideration of the record
and all applicable sentencing criteria, including
Defendant's Presentence Investigation Report
(“PSR”), the applicable United States Sentencing
Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), and the sentencing
factors outlined under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). (See
generally Doc. No. 300.) The Government filed an
information to establish Defendant's prior convictions,
thereby making him subject to increased punishment under 21
U.S.C. § 851(b). (Id. at 11.) The Government
requested that the Court apply a two-level enhancement for
obstruction under the Guidelines, which would have raised
Defendant's total offense level from 30 to 32 and,
combined with his criminal history category
(“CHC”) of IV, would have raised his Guidelines
sentencing range from a term of 135 to 168 months'
imprisonment to 168 to 210 months' imprisonment.
(Id. at 24, 42.)
Court explained that despite serious concerns about
Defendant's conduct directed toward witnesses in his
case, application of the obstruction enhancement was not
appropriate. (Id. at 40-41.) The Court further
explained that while Defendant's vocational and
educational needs could be met during a term of imprisonment
at the low end of his resulting Guidelines range (135
months), other 3553(a) factors called for a longer sentence.
(Id. at 44, 46-48.) The Court stated clearly that it
did not “believe that 240 months, ” the
applicable mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, was
necessary, and that it was “imposing it for one reason,
and for one reason only: It is the mandatory minimum.”
(Id. at 46-47.) The Court further noted that the
requirement of a 240-month minimum “may get changed in
the future.” (Id. at 49.) However, the Court
also made clear that without the mandatory minimum, it
“would be imposing nothing less than 168 months.”
(Id. at 47.) Only a term of imprisonment of no less
than 168 months, and up to 180 months, “would fit the
3553(a) factors” under the circumstances, if no
mandatory minimum of even five or ten years applied.
(Id. at 47-49, 51.)
is currently scheduled to be released on ...