United States District Court, D. Alaska
RUSSEL HOLLAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
for Compassionate Release 
the court is defendant's Amended Motion for
Compassionate Release Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(1)(A)(i). The motion is opposed by plaintiff,
the court has authorized and received a reply memorandum on
behalf of defendant Valdez.
proceedings predating Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530
U.S. 466 (2000), and United States v. Booker, 543
U.S. 220 (2005), defendant was tried and convicted of
multiple violations of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). Under then
applicable Sentencing Commission guidelines, defendant's
total offense level was 44, his criminal history category was
II, his sentencing range was 360 months to life, and a
sentence of 360 months was imposed. Based upon amendments to
drug offense guidelines, defendant applied for and received a
sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).
Defendant's total offense level was reduced to 40 and his
sentence was reduced to 324months.
Valdez's conviction and sentence have been subject to
numerous appeals and 28 U.S.C. § 2255 applications over
the years. On each occasion relief was denied.Proceedings under
28 U.S.C. § 2241 have likewise been unsuccessful,
Valdez v. Apker, No. 1:17-cv-01308 at Docket No. 6
(E.D. Cal.), and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, Valdez v. Apker, No. 17-17281 (9th Cir.
March 12, 2018), and Valdez v. Friend, No.
1:19-cv-00911, at Docket No. 8 (E.D. Cal.),
aff'd., 19-16644 (9th Cir.).
is approximately 59 years of age. He has served 21 years in
prison, and his current release date is September 3, 2021.
Defendant suffers from high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
and anemia. While incarcerated, he has obtained his
GED and has participated in various legal and vocational
programs. He has not been subject to any disciplinary actions
in the past six years. Defendant volunteers at the prison
chapel and has been employed in the prison library, assisting
Valdez applied to BoP prison officials for a sentence
reduction on August 13, 2019. His application was denied on
August 15, 2019.
motion now before the court is expressly authorized by 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Plaintiff does not contest
defendant's procedural right to seek a compassionate
release. Plaintiff does contend that defendant is not
“currently eligible for a modification of his
sentence” under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) or
for release based upon extraordinary and compelling reasons
are no longer limited to motions made by the Bureau of
Prisons. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Motions for release
for extraordinary and compelling reasons may be made directly
to the court by a defendant, but are, however, subject to
consideration of the factors set out in 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a) and the policy statements issued by the Sentencing
light of defendant's age, his participation in
educational programs while incarcerated, his good behavior
during incarceration, and the likelihood of deportation at
the conclusion of his term of imprisonment, the court would
not be concerned if defendant were released. The court
perceives no substantial risk of harm to any person or the
public, and at age 59, recidivism is unlikely. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) factors would not preclude a compassionate
release in this case.
court turns to the question of whether or not a sentence
reduction in this case would be consistent with applicable
policy statements of the Sentencing Commission. U.S.S.G
§ 1B1.13 provides that:
Upon motion of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons under 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), the court may reduce a term of
imprisonment ... if, after considering the factors set forth
in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) ... the court determines that -
(1) (A) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant the
reduction; or ....
(2) the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any other
person or to the community, as provided in 18 U.S.C. ...