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United States v. Charles

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

December 2, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
CALEB MICHAEL CHARLES.

          ORDER

          ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This cause is before the Court on:

Dkt. 222 First Step Memorandum
Dkt. 225 Motion to Reduce Sentence Pursuant to Section 404 of the First Step Act of 2018
Dkt. 228 Response

         Defendant Caleb Michael Charles moves for a reduction of sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. (c)(1)(B) and Section 404 of the First Step Act of 2018. Defendant Charles requests a reduction of Defendant's term of imprisonment as to Count 2 to time served and Defendant's term of supervised release to 3 years, leaving intact the 120-month sentence as to Count 1. In the alternative, Defendant. Charles requests a hearing to determine a sentence that is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(a).

         The Government opposes Defendant Charles' Motion. The Government argues that although the First Step Act modifies Defendant Charles' statutory penalty provisions, Defendant Charles' guidelines remain the same, as reflected in the First Step Memorandum. The Government opposes Defendant's request for modification of the term of imprisonment to time served as to Count 2, but does not object to a reduction of the term of supervised release to 3 years.

         1. Background

         Count I of the Indictment charges Defendant Charles with Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder-for-Hire, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1958(a) and 2. Count 2 of the Indictment charges Defendant Charles with Distribution of Five Grams or More of Cocaine Base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sees. 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(a)(iii) and 18 U.S.C. .Sec. 2. (Dkt. 24).

         Defendant Charles entered into a Plea Agreement. (Dkt. 93), pleading guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the Indictment. In the Statement of Facts, Defendant Charles admitted that 1/2 ounce of crack cocaine was provided to the UC. (Dkt. 93, p. 17).

         Defendant Charles moved for a downward departure or variance to 120 months imprisonment at sentencing. The Court denied the Motion. (Dkts. 132, 137, 147). On July 17, 2009, Defendant Charles was sentenced to a term of imprisonment on Count 1 of 120 months, concurrent, and concurrent with any term of imprisonment for the probation violation in Docket Number 067CF014663, and a term of imprisonment on Count 2 of 188 months, concurrent; a term of supervised release on Count 1 of 36 months, concurrent, and a term of supervised release of 60 months on Count 2, concurrent; fine waived; and a special assessment fee of $200.00.

         At sentencing, Defendant Charles objected to the grouping of the two counts of conviction because the end result was the proposed guideline range exceeded the statutory maximum of Count 1, 10 years. Defendant Charles also objected to the 4-level increase for pecuniary gain, USSG Sec. 2A1.5(b)(1), arguing that the pecuniary gain was already incorporated into the offense itself, murder-for-hire. The Court overruled both objections. (Dkt. 222, pp. 28-29).

         On June 11, 2010, the Court vacated the previous Judgment and directed that a new Judgment be entered. (Dkts. 172, 173).

         Defendant Charles moved for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 750 (Dkt. 189). The Government opposed the Motion. (Dkt. ...


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