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United States v. Amphavannasouk

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

December 18, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHTTPRASONG AMPHAVANNASOUK, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION

          Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge

         Defendant Chitprasong Amphavannasouk filed a letter asking if he is entitled to relief under section 404 of the First Step Act. (Doc. 317.) The Court construed Defendant's letter as a motion for a sentence reduction pursuant to the First Step Act. The Assistant Federal Public Defender appointed to represent individuals who file pro se pleadings seeking relief under Section 404 of the First Step Act responded that "it has no additional materials or information to present to the Court and requests that the Court decide the issues based on the previous submissions by Defendant." (Doc. 321) The United States objects to Defendant's motion for a sentence reduction. (Doc. 325.)

         BACKGROUND

         Through a Superseding Indictment (Doc. 1), Defendant was charged with a drug trafficking conspiracy involving methamphetamine. On June 24, 2004, a jury found Defendant guilty of the offense. (Doc. 122.) Defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for 240 months. (Doc. 142.)

         LAW REGARDING THE FIRST STEP ACT

         On December 21, 2018, the President signed the First Step Act into law. One section of the First Step Act, Pub. L. No. 115-391, § 404, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018), made retroactive some provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 ("FSA"), Pub. Law 111-220; 124 Stat. 2372 (2010). The FSA reduced the existing sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses. United States v. Orr, 636 F.3d 944, 957 (8th Cir. 2011). Under Section 2 of the FSA, what used to be a 100:1 ratio between the amount of powder and crack needed to trigger the mandatory minimums became an 18:1 ratio. Id. Section 3 of the FSA "eliminated the 5-year mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack." Dorsey v. United States, 567 U.S. 260, 269-270 (2012).

         Sections 2 and 3 of the FSA provide:

SEC. 2. COCAINE SENTENCING DISPARITY REDUCTION.
(a) CSA. - Section 401(b)(1) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)) is amended-
(1) in subparagraph A(iii), by striking "50 grams" and inserting "280 grams"; and
(2) in subparagraph (B)(iii), by striking "5 grams" and inserting "28 grams".
(b) IMPORT AND EXPORT ACT. - Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960(b)) is amended~
(1) in paragraph (1)(C), by striking "50 grams" and inserting "280 grams"; and
(2) in paragraph (2)(C), by striking "5 grams" and inserting "28 grams". ...

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