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United States v. Rodd

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 31, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Jeffrey Charles Rodd, Defendant.

          Lisa D. Kirkpatrick, Assistant United States Attorney, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Jeffrey Charles Rodd, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for a ruling on Defendant Jeffrey Charles Rodd's (“Rodd”) Motion for a Reduction of Sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) for Extraordinary and Compelling Reasons [Docket No. 78] (the “Motion”). Rodd requests an immediate release, sentence reduction, or home confinement. For the reasons set forth below Rodd's Motion is denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On January 15, 2014, a jury found Rodd guilty of Counts 1-4, wire fraud, and Count 5, mail fraud. Jury Verdict [Docket No. 45]. Rodd solicited money from potential investors through promises that he would use the invested funds to purchase and sell “structured settlement annuities.” Rodd never made any purchases of the annuities. Instead, he used the money for production of his “Safe Money” radio show expenses or to make Ponzi-type payments to earlier victim-investors. At the sentencing hearing, the Court noted Rodd expressed “some sort of level of remorse, but it seems more like a sort of remorse that you got caught.” Sentencing Hr'g Tr. [Docket No. 72] at 31. Rodd was reminded that although this case has had “an effect on your health and life, . . . one cannot read the letters and the submissions of the various victims in this case without the realization that it's altered very significantly lots of lives.” Id. at 30. The trial evidence showed that Rodd “lied over and over and over again.” Id. at 30-31. Taking into consideration the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, Rodd was sentenced to 87 months on Counts 1-5, to be served concurrently, and $1.2 million in restitution. Am. Sentencing Judgment [Docket No. 62]. The Government requested an upward departure from the Guideline Sentencing range, but the Court concluded that 87 months, the top of the applicable Guideline range, was sufficient to reflect the seriousness of the offense in this case. Sentencing Hr'g Tr. at 32.

         Because Rodd had documented health issues, the Court recommended Rodd be evaluated for incarceration at a Federal Medical Center (“FMC”). Mot. at 2; Sentencing Hr'g Tr. at 37. In October 2014, Rodd was first incarcerated at a Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, Minnesota. Mot. at 2. In January 2015, Rodd was transferred to the FMC in Rochester, Minnesota (“FMC Rochester”). Id. at 2-3. He was later transferred in 2017 to the FMC in Lexington, Kentucky (“FMC Lexington”). Id. Rodd currently has a release date of January 10, 2021.

         On February 1, 2019, Rodd submitted a request to the warden of FMC Lexington to be considered for compassionate relief pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582. Rodd did not receive an administrative response within 30 days. On June 10, 2019, Rodd filed his Motion for a compassionate release, relying on the recently-enacted First Step Act (“FSA”).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Landscape

         The First Step Act of 2018 amended 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194, § 603(b). The law under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) prohibits modification of a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed, except in limited circumstances. One of those circumstances is “Compassionate Release.” The Court:

may reduce the term of imprisonment (and may impose a term of probation or supervised release with or without conditions that does not exceed the unserved portion of the original term of imprisonment), after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, if it finds that-
(i) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction; . . . and that such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued ...

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