United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division
WILLIAM H. STEELE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on defendant Michael Jerome
Files' Motion for Reconsideration (doc. 2411), which is
construed as a renewed motion for sentence reduction pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3582.
February 8, 2019, the undersigned entered an Order (doc.
2409) denying Files' request for sentence reduction under
the First Step Act of 2018. The February 8 Order explained
that Files is ineligible for relief under the retroactive
provisions of the First Step Act because (i) he was convicted
of, inter alia, conspiring to possess with intent to
distribute 50 kilograms of cocaine; (ii) at sentencing, he
was held accountable for a total marijuana equivalency of 15,
406.5 kilograms (including 50 kilograms of powder cocaine,
1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine, and 50 kilograms of
marijuana); (iii) Files' calculated sentencing guideline
range was not altered by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 or
the corresponding guideline amendments; and (iv) Files'
statutory maximum sentence would not be reduced if the Fair
Sentencing Act of 2010's statutory penalties were applied
retroactively to the offense of conviction.
present Motion, Files interposes a strenuous objection that
the sentencing court failed to make a drug quantity
determination at sentencing. As an initial matter, a §
3582(c) motion is not an appropriate procedural vehicle to
relitigate drug quantity findings at sentencing. See,
e.g., United States v. Martinez, 735 Fed.Appx. 616, 618
(11th Cir. May 23, 2018) (“Because a
sentencing adjustment undertaken pursuant to Section
3582(c)(2) does not constitute a de novo resentencing,
Defendant cannot relitigate the district court's original
drug-quantity finding in this § 3582(c)(2)
proceeding.”) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted); United States v. Pinnock, 495 Fed.Appx.
958, 959 (11th Cir. Nov. 7, 2012) (“Despite
[defendant's] attempts both before the district court and
now on appeal, § 3582(c)(2) did not give him license to
relitigate the original drug-quantity finding upon which his
sentence was based.”). Even if it were, Files'
objection is patently incorrect as a factual matter. During
the hearing, the sentencing judge unequivocally stated,
“I will advise you that the Court … sustains the
findings set out in the Presentence Investigation Report
based on my being present at the time of trial.” (Doc.
2355, at 23.) Paragraph 53 of the Presentence Investigation
Report included specific findings that “the defendant
was involved with substantially more than 1.5 kilograms of
cocaine base, 50 kilograms of cocaine, and 50 kilograms of
marijuana.” (Doc. 2395, at 21-22.) Therefore,
Files' oft-repeated assertion in his Motion that
“the Sentencing Court failed to make any drug
quantity determinations regarding Mr. Files” (doc.
2411, at 3) is simply false.
Files objects that his sentencing “was in clear
error” because the sentencing court assigned him a base
offense level of 45. (Doc. 2411, at 13.) This is also
factually incorrect. Files' base offense level at
sentencing was properly determined to be 38, with a total
offense level of 43. (See doc. 2355, at 23-24; doc.
2395, at 22 ¶ 60.)
Files touts his post-conviction conduct and rehabilitation as
grounds for reducing his sentence. But the Court has already
found that Files is ineligible for sentencing reduction under
§ 3582(c). In light of that finding, Files'
post-sentencing rehabilitation efforts (while laudable, if
his description of them is accurate) do not form a viable
basis for granting his Motion. See, e.g., United States
v. Edmondson, 799 F.Supp.2d 1297, 1299 (M.D. Ala. 2011)
(“while rehabilitation may be a ground the court can
consider if it is in the midst of sentencing or resentencing,
rehabilitation is not a justification for the court to
resentence the defendant in the first place”);
United States v. Lloyd, 484 F.Supp.2d 1232, 1241
(S.D. Ala. 2007) (“Post-sentencing rehabilitation is
not among the enumerated grounds in [§ 3582(c)], and
therefore cannot justify a reduction in sentence.”).
Files asserts that when this Court granted a previous §
3582 motion and reduced his sentence from life imprisonment
to 360 months, it “failed to consider the §
3553(a) factors.” (Doc. 2411, at 18.) Again, this
premise is factually inaccurate. The Order (doc. 2398)
entered on April 5, 2017 reducing Files' sentence to 360
months expressly stated that the reduction was being made
after “taking into account … the sentencing
factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).”
Id. Defendant's suggestion that this Court
disregarded the § 3553(a) factors in reducing Files'
sentence to 360 months is misplaced.
Files appeals to “fundamental fairness and equal
protection” as grounds for sentencing reduction. The
Court finds that he has stated no constitutional infirmity in
his sentence, no basis for relief under the First Step Act of
2018, and no colorable ground for further sentence reduction
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).
of the foregoing reasons, the Motion for Reconsideration
(doc. 2411), which is construed as a renewed motion for
sentence reduction pursuant to § 3582(c), is
denied. The Court certifies
that any appeal from this ruling would be frivolous;
therefore, Files will not be permitted to appeal in forma
pauperis. Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time
(doc. 2410) is moot.
 Files previously submitted a Motion
for Extension of Time (doc. 2410), in which he requested a
14-day period to be heard in response to the Order (doc.
2409) entered on February 8, 2019, denying his motion for
sentence reduction under the First Step Act of 2018. The
Motion for Extension of Time is moot because
the Court is considering this renewed § 3582 motion on
 This is not the first time the Court
has explained to Files that his arguments concerning a
purported failure of the sentencing court to make drug
quantity findings have no basis whatsoever in fact. For
example, in an Order entered on February 22, 2017, the
undersigned wrote, “Contrary to Files' objection,
then, the sentencing judge made specific findings that Files
was involved with more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base, 50
kilograms of cocaine, and 50 kilograms of marijuana. The
record is crystal clear on this point, and Files'