FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW
MEXICO (D.C. NO. 1:12-CR-00701-WJ-1)
on the Briefs:
A. Coberly, Coberly & Martinez, LLLP, Santa Fe, New
Mexico, for Appellant.
R.W. Braun, Assistant United States Attorney, and Damon P.
Martinez, United States Attorney, Office of the United States
Attorney, Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Appellee.
TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, SEYMOUR, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge.
case requires us to determine how much explanation a district
court must provide when granting a sentence-reduction motion
under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and choosing a sentence
within the revised Sentencing Guidelines range.
Chavez-Meza pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges in
2013. He originally received a prison sentence of 135 months,
the Sentencing Guidelines minimum. In 2014, the Sentencing
Commission amended the Guidelines to reduce the relevant
offense levels. Chavez-Meza then sought and was granted a
sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).
He requested the court reduce his sentence to 108 months, the
minimum under the revised guidelines range, but the court
only reduced his sentence to 114 months. In confirming the
new sentence, the district court issued a form order stating
it had "tak[en] into account the policy statement set
forth at USSG § 1B1.10 and the sentencing factors set
forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)." Chavez-Meza appeals
his reduced sentence, claiming the district court erred by
failing to adequately explain how it applied the §
3553(a) factors in imposing a 114-month sentence.
AFFIRM the district court's sentence-reduction order.
Section 3582(c)(2) does not require additional explanation
when a district court imposes a guidelines sentence and
affirmatively states that it considered the § 3553(a)
factors in its decision.
pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession with intent to
distribute methamphetamine. His guidelines range was 135-168
months. The government recommended a 135-month sentence at
the low end of the range, which the sentencing court
accepted. The court explained "the reason the guideline
sentence is high in this case . . . is because of the
quantity, 1.75 kilograms of actual methamphetamine. . . .
[O]ne of the other reasons that the penalty is severe in this
case is because of methamphetamine. It destroys . . .
individual lives, it destroys families, it can destroy
communities." App., Vol. IV at 15.
2015, after the Sentencing Commission amended the Guidelines
and reduced the applicable guidelines for this type of crime,
Chavez-Meza filed a pro se motion under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2), asking the district court to modify his sentence.
district court appointed counsel to represent Chavez-Meza,
and the government consented to a "stipulated agreement
in petition for reduced sentence." App., Vol. I at
40-41. In the petition they agreed that amendments to the
guidelines range resulted in a lower 108- to 135-month
sentencing range. Accordingly, Chavez-Meza filed a request
for a 108-month sentence, at the low end of the revised
range. The government did not offer guidance on a specific
is no requirement that district courts hold a hearing in a
§ 3582(c)(2) sentence-reduction proceeding. United
States v. Piper, 839 F.3d 1261, 1270 (10th Cir. 2016).
Without doing so, then, the district court issued an order on
a two-page standard form reducing Chavez-Meza's sentence
to 114 months. The form, an "AO-247, " is a
document prepared by the Federal Judiciary's
Administrative Office. It requires the district court to
state it has "tak[en] into account the policy statement
set forth at USSG § 1B1.10 and the sentencing factors
set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), to the extent that
they are applicable." It also requires the court provide
both the previous and amended total offense level, criminal
history category, and guidelines range. The court must then
check a box indicating where the sentence falls relative to