United States District Court, D. Alaska
ORDER REGARDING FIRST STEP ACT MOTION
L. GLEASON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court at Docket 333 is defendant Arnold Wesley Flowers,
II's pro se Motion to Modify Sentence Pursuant
to the First Step Act and Request to Appoint Counsel. The
government responded in opposition at Docket 334.
Flowers is serving a 75-month sentence, which is currently
set to expire on August 23, 2021. Mr. Flowers seeks a court
order allowing him the maximum amount (12 months) of time at
a residential re-entry center because of his asserted
“extraordinary and compelling circumstances” in
his case. Mr. Flowers' motion is based on the
First Step Act of 2018 (FSA), which allows inmates to request
sentence modifications based on extraordinary and compelling
reasons. Prior to the passage of the FSA, only the
Bureau of Prisons could move for early release due to
extraordinary and compelling reasons.
Flowers asserts that his case presents extraordinary and
compelling circumstances because he has no disciplinary
history, has made positive changes during his incarceration,
he needs to establish a support system in a new community,
and because denying him the maximum stay in a residential
re-entry center “is in no way assisting [him] in [his]
goal to never return to prison.” Mr. Flowers filed
a re-entry plan progress report that lists the courses he has
taken while incarcerated. From Mr. Flower's previous motion,
the Court is aware that he has participated in and completed
various inmate training and educational
government responds that Mr. Flowers “has a long and
dangerous criminal history, full of duplicitous conduct and
supervised release violations” and that he “is a
danger to the community.” The government opposes Mr.
Flowers being “released to a transitional facility at
any time prior to the ordinary time under the Bureau of
Prisons ordinary policies and
Court has no reason to doubt the veracity of Mr. Flowers'
representations in his motion and his exhibit. The Court
commends Mr. Flowers for his positive achievements. However,
Mr. Flowers' general positive changes and need to
establish a support system outside of prison do not
constitute “extraordinary and compelling” reasons
to modify his sentence or direct the Bureau of Prisons as to
the timing of his release to a residential re-entry
center. The Court has no recent, first-hand
knowledge of Mr. Flower's character and conduct and thus
will defer to the BOP's observations and evaluations of
his behavior since sentencing about whether he should be
allowed to serve a portion of his sentence at a halfway
house. It is the BOP's responsibility, independent of any
judicial recommendation, to comply with 18 U.S.C. §
3624(c)(1) and designate placement for inmates.
the FSA requires that prior to bringing a motion based on
extraordinary and compelling reasons, an inmate must fully
exhaust “all administrative rights to appeal a failure
of the Bureau of Prisons to bring a motion on the
defendant's behalf . . . .” There is
nothing in the record before the Court showing that Mr.
Flowers has pursued any administrative remedies.
Flowers' intent is to bring a motion pursuant to Section
602 of the FSA, that provision of the FSA modified 18 U.S.C.
§ 3621(c)(1) and directs the Bureau of Prisons to
maximize the amount of time spent on home confinement when
warranted. The provision does not authorize a
federal court to modify an inmate's sentence to maximize
light of the foregoing, the motion at Docket 333 is denied.
 www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last accessed
Dec. 20, 2019). In 2017, this Court sentenced Mr. Flowers to
75 months imprisonment after two trial juries-one in each of
two cases-convicted him of a total 14 counts of drug,
firearm, and wire fraud offenses. The sentences on all counts
were to run concurrently and concurrently with the sentence
in the other case. Docket 275 at 1-2 (judgment in case
3:16-cr-00035-SLG); Docket 278 at 1-2 (judgment in case
 Docket 333 at 2, 4. In August 2019,
Mr. Flowers filed a motion seeking a recommendation from this
Court that the Bureau of Prisons allow him to spend his final
12 months of incarceration at a halfway house. Docket ...