Submitted: April 9, 2018
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - St. Paul
GRUENDER, MELLOY, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
Quinin Holt pled guilty to conspiring to distribute
controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846. The district
court sentenced him to 65 months'
imprisonment and five years' supervised release. After
prison, he violated his conditions of release and returned to
prison. On release, he again violated his terms of
supervision. The district court sentenced him to 24
months' imprisonment. He appeals. Having jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.
contends the district court procedurally erred by failing to
explain the reasons for its sentence. This court
"review[s] the district court's revocation
sentencing decision under the same
deferential-abuse-of-discretion standard that applies to
initial sentencing proceedings." United
States v. Johnson, 827 F.3d 740, 744 (8th Cir. 2016)
(internal quotation marks omitted). "A sentence is
procedurally unreasonable if the district court . . .
fail[ed] to consider the § 3553(a) factors, . . . or
fail[ed] to adequately explain the chosen sentence."
United States v. Perkins, 526 F.3d 1107, 1110 (8th
Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). Imposing a
revocation sentence, "[a] district court is not required
to make specific findings; all that is generally required to
satisfy the appellate court is evidence that the district
court was aware of the relevant factors." Id.
a 24-month sentence, the district court said:
In determining what sentence to impose, I have carefully
considered the relevant guidelines and policy statements
issued by the United States Sentencing Commission. In doing
so, I have recognized that the range recommended by the
guidelines is advisory. As directed by 18 U.S.C. Section
3583(e), I have also considered the relevant factors
described in 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a), including the nature
and circumstances of the offense; the history and
characteristics of the defendant; and the need to deter Mr.
Holt and others from committing crimes in the future; to
protect the public from Mr. Holt; to provide Mr. Holt with
needed care, treatment, and training; and to avoid
unwarranted disparities between Mr. Holt's sentence and
the sentences of defendants with similar records who have
been found guilty of similar conduct.
district court properly considered the relevant factors and
did not procedurally err in failing to explain its sentence.
believes his 24-month sentence (guidelines range 5 to 11
months) is substantively unreasonable. This court reviews
sentences for substantive reasonableness using an
abuse-of-discretion standard. Perkins, 526 F.3d at
1110. In denying Holt's request for probation, the court
[T]he federal government has invested in you just about
everything the government can invest in you, even up to the
Re-Entry Court Program where a federal judge is spending
extra time trying to help you to succeed. All that has
failed. Why would I at this point-tell me at this point why I
should invest any more of the government's resources to
try to help you when you don't want to help yourself.
I mean, I'm looking at this Rule 25. Okay? So to start
with I notice that you denied to the woman doing the
assessment that you used cocaine. It says you deny any use of
cocaine. I think all of your dirty UAs here in federal court
have all been for cocaine use, and yet here it says,
"Client denied any use of cocaine or crack." So how
are you going to get better when you're not even being
honest to the people you're going to see about getting
sentencing Holt above the guidelines, the court discussed his
lengthy criminal history, beginning "in 2005 for selling
crack." On his first period of supervised release,
"he was selling crack during most of the time" and
"also using drugs himself, missing drug tests, and
failing to cooperate with drug treatment programs."
After a period of unemployment, he again "was arrested
for selling crack" and sent back to prison. On release,
"[h]e did not make it even four days before he used
cocaine, and he did not make it even five days before he
skipped his first drug test." The district court noted
that for his first violation, it "treated him leniently,
merely modifying his conditions of release to include 90 days
of home detention with electronic monitoring." He
responded "by using cocaine while he was on home
detention for using cocaine." After nine more months in
prison, he again violated his conditions of release numerous
times, missing drug tests, using cocaine, skipping
court-required sessions, and failing to report to his
probation officer. Given his lengthy history of illegal
activity and ...