United States v. McGee, No. 20-5047 (10th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Defendant Malcom McGee was convicted by a jury of three criminal counts: (1) conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of a mixture of substance containing a detectable amount of PCP; (2) causing another person to possess with intent to distribute in excess of one kilogram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of PCP; and (3) using a communication facility to commit and facilitate the commission of a felony. Because McGee had previously been convicted in California of two felony drug offenses, the district court sentenced McGee to a mandatory term of life imprisonment. Following Congress’s enactment of the First Step Act of 2018 (First Step Act) and the changes the First Step Act made to both section 841(b)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A), McGee moved the district court pursuant to section 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) to reduce his sentence based on “extraordinary and compelling reasons.” The district court denied that motion, and McGee appealed. Because the Tenth Circuit concluded the district court misunderstood the extent of its authority at both steps one and two of section 3582(c)(1)(A)’s statutory test, it reversed the district court’s decision and remanded to the district court so that it could reconsider McGee’s motion.