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United States v. Muniz

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division

March 30, 2020, Decided; March 30, 2020, Entered




Defendant Pedro Muniz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(ii), and (b)(1)(A)(viii) in January 2010. Defendant was sentenced to a term of 235 months, but his sentence was reduced to 188 months on May 29, 2015 pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). (Doc. No. 517). Defendant has been in custody since April 20, 2009.

Defendant now moves for compassionate release because of concerns about his medical condition and the potential spread of the novel coronavirus at the Federal Medical Center Butner, [*2]  in Bahama, North Carolina, where he is currently incarcerated. Defendant has exhausted all possible avenues for administrative release, and if released plans to live under the care of his mother in Conroe, Texas.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3582, a court may modify a defendant's sentence upon motion of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons or "upon motion of the defendant after the defendant has fully exhausted all administrative rights to appeal a failure of the Bureau of Prisons to bring a motion on the defendant's behalf or the lapse of 30 days from the receipt of such a request by the warden of the defendant's facility, whichever is earlier." 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Upon such a motion, a court may modify a defendant's sentence after considering the factors set forth in § 3553(a) to the extent applicable if it finds that "extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction" and "such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission." Id. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i).

The policy statement regarding compassionate release sets forth three circumstances that are considered "extraordinary and compelling reasons." U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, § 1B1.13(1)(A) & cmt. n.1. Among these are the "medical condition of the defendant," including where the defendant is "suffering [*3]  from a serious physical or medical condition . . . that substantially diminishes the ability of the defendant to provide self-care within the environment of a correctional facility and from which he or she is not expected to recover." Id. § 1B1.13 cmt. 1. The policy statement also requires that the defendant not pose a danger to the safety of the community. Id. § 1B1.13(2).

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59255 *



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