USA v. Marcus Bugg
Per Curiam OPINION filed : The appeal is DISMISSED, decision not for publication. Gilbert S. Merritt and Eric L. Clay, Circuit Judges; William H. Stafford, Senior United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, sitting by designation.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 13a0848n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Sep 27, 2013
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE WESTERN
DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MERRITT and CLAY, Circuit Judges; and STAFFORD, District
PER CURIAM. Marcus Buggs pleaded guilty to (1) conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute 50 grams of cocaine base (Count 1); and (2) possession of
a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking (Count 6). He faced a mandatory minimum
sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment on the drug conspiracy count and a consecutive
mandatory minimum sentence of five years to life imprisonment on the firearm count.
Buggs qualified as a career offender based on a prior drug trafficking offense and
a crime of violence. Under the career offender guidelines, Buggs's advisory guideline
The Honorable William H. Stafford, Jr., Senior United States District Judge for
the Northern District of Florida, sitting by designation.
range was 262-327 months (Offense level 34, Criminal history category VI). His
advisory guideline range based on drug quantity was 130-162 months (Offense level 27,
Criminal history category VI).
The district court sentenced Buggs to 130 months on Count I and 60 months
consecutive on Count 6, for a combined sentence of 190 months (10 months above the
mandatory minimum combined sentence but well under the career offender guideline
range). At sentencing, the district court explained that it chose to "vary downward from
what the career offender guideline would provide here to in my view achieve a more
balanced perspective on the overall purposes of sentencing."
Buggs later filed a pro se motion for retroactive application of Guidelines
Amendment 750 pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The district court denied the
motion, stating: "Defendant was sentenced as a career offender under U.S.S.G. §
4B1.1(a). The career offender guidelines continue to apply, and so defendant is ineligible
for a reduction in sentence."
Through counsel, Buggs has appealed the district court's denial of his § 3582(c)(2)
motion. Buggs argues that the district court based his sentence, not on the career offender
guidelines, but instead on the drug guidelines. Had he, in fact, been sentenced under the
drug guidelines, Amendment 750 would have the effect of reducing Buggs's relevant drug
guideline range from 130–162 months to 92–115 months. Buggs contends that he is
eligible for a sentence reduction pursuant to § 3582(c)(2) because Amendment 750 has
lowered his guideline range. Buggs does not argue in his appellate brief that the district
court may lower his sentence below the combined mandatory minimum sentence of 180
months. Indeed, Buggs states in his brief: "Mr. Buggs is still subject to the mandatory
minimum of 10 years on the drug count and 5 years on the firearm count to which he pled
guilty. Thus, the combined minimum term to which Mr. Buggs could be sentenced would
be 180 months, 10 months less than his current sentence."
Review of the district court's docket reflects that, on December 13, 2010, the
district court entered an unsealed order reducing Buggs's sentence from 190 months to
180 months pursuant to the government's Rule 35 motion. Counsel for the parties have
since filed supplemental briefs confirming that Buggs is, indeed, currently serving a
combined mandatory minimum sentence of 180 months. Because Buggs is already
serving the very sentence that he seeks by way of this appeal, we find that dismissal of
Buggs's appeal is warranted.
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