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United States v. Barlow

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
ISAAC BARLOW Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          HON. FREDA L. WOLFSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER having been opened to the Court by Defendant Isaac Barlow, pro se, on a motion for reduction in sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2); it appearing that the Government, Assistant United States Attorney Patrick C. Askin appearing, opposes the motion; having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court finds the following:

1. On August 31, 2006, Defendant Isaac Barlow was initially indicted by a grand jury in the District of New Jersey.
2. On December 21, 2006, the grand jury returned a seven count superseding indictment charging Defendant with drug trafficking offenses.
3. On May 11, 2007, the Government filed a notice of enhanced penalties information, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851(a), recounting Defendant's four prior drug convictions.
4. On June 20, 2007, Defendant was found guilty by the jury on Counts 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the indictment. Defendant Barlow was adjudicated guilty, in Count 1, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, contrary to 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A), and in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; in Count 2, of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine) on January 7, 2006, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A); in Count 3, of possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine on February 14, 2006, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A); in Count 4, of possession with the intent to distribute and attempt to manufacture a detectable amount of cocaine base on February 14, 2006, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); in Count 5, of maintaining a premise for the storage and distribution of a controlled substance from January 2006 through March 2006, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1) and Title 18, U.S.C. § 2; and in Count 6, of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base on March 31, 2006, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A).
5. Defendant's four prior felony narcotics convictions categorized Defendant as a career offender, pursuant to Section 4B1.1 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Defendant's adjusted offense level was at least level 37 and his criminal history category was automatically Category VI. This culminated in an advisory guideline range of 360 months to life imprisonment. See PSR, paragraph 68, 98, 129-130.
6. Defendant, however, also faced a mandatory minimum penalty on Counts 1, 2, and 6, which involved conspiracy to distribute or distribution of over 50 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine) in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. § 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A). Based on Defendant's four prior felony narcotics convictions and the enhanced penalty information, Defendant was subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of life without parole on those Counts. Title 21, U.S.C. § 846, 841(a)(1); 841(b)(1)(A).
7. Accordingly, Defendant's guideline sentence on Counts 1, 2, and 6 was the mandatory minimum sentence of life without parole, because the mandatory minimum was higher than the calculated guideline sentence under the career offender provisions of Section 4B1.1.
8. On January 29, 2008, at the sentencing hearing, the Court instituted the mandatory minimum penalty of life imprisonment on Counts 1, 2, and 6. The Court also imposed a sentence of 240 months imprisonment with a ten-year period of supervised release on Counts 3 and 5 - all sentences running concurrently.
9. Defendant Barlow appealed his conviction, and the Third Circuit affirmed. See United States v. Barlow, 307 F.App'x 678 (3d Cir. 2009). He subsequently has filed three, separate motions: on June 1, 2010, a motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence, pursuant to Title 28, U.S.C § 2255, which was denied by this Court; on November 5, 2015, a motion for a reduction of sentence prior to the instant motion, which was also denied by this Court; and on July 5, 2016, the instant motion for sentence reduction, pursuant to Title 18, U.S.C. § 3582(c).
10. The Third Circuit has provided the following test to determine whether a defendant is entitled to a reduction in sentence:
A district court is authorized to reduce a sentence already imposed where two requirements are satisfied: (1) the defendant's initial sentence must have been “based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission, ” and (2) the sentence reduction must be “consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2); United States v. Doe, 564 F.3d 305, 309 (3d Cir. 2009). If these two requirements are satisfied, a court may then exercise its discretion-“after considering the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, ” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), as well as the factors contained in the commentary to the Commission's policy statements, U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, cmt. n. 1(B)-to determine whether a reduction in sentence is warranted (as well as the extent of any such reduction).

United States v. Surine, 555 Fed.App'x 213, 215 (3d Cir. 2014); see also United States v. Flemming, 617 F.3d 252, 257 (3d Cir. 2010); Dillon v. United ...


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