Eighth Circuit - First Step Act of 2018

United States v. Sherman, 960 F.3d 978 (8th Cir. 2020). The court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a motion for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act for a defendant convicted of distributing more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. The court’s finding that the defendant was responsible for more than 30 kilograms of cocaine base was not inconsistent with the finding at the original sentencing that the defendant was responsible for more than 1.5 kilograms of cocaine base. Additionally, the court was not required to address explicitly the defendant’s post-sentencing rehabilitation efforts during the proceeding.

United States v. Hodgkiss, 960 F.3d 1110 (8th Cir. 2020). Statutory eligibility for safety valve excludes a defendant who possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense. In this context, “offense” means “offense of conviction,” not a defendant’s “relevant conduct” as determined by the Guidelines. A defendant who pleaded to a drug distribution offense (April 2018) was eligible for statutory safety valve despite a § 924(c) conviction (June 2018) relating to another drug offense.

United States v. Moore, 963 F.3d 725 (8th Cir. 2020). A court may, but is not required to, consider the § 3553(a) factors when ruling on a § 404(b) motion.

United States v. El Herman, 971 F.3d 784 (8th Cir. 2020). A transferee court has jurisdiction over a § 404(b) motion where the sentencing court transferred jurisdiction over a defendant who was serving a term of supervised release under 18 U.S.C. § 3605.

United States v. Holder, 981 F.3d 647 (8th Cir. 2020). Although the court has discretion whether to grant First Step Act relief, failing to determine the correct amended guideline range under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 is procedural error.

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