United States v. Guerrero, No. 19-1676 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
In 2013, Guerrero, a Chicago police officer who participated in drug trafficking, pleaded guilty to conspiring to participate in racketeering activity, conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana, interfering with commerce by threats or violence, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking. Guerrero’s guideline range for the first three counts was life in prison and for the fourth count was 60 consecutive months. He provided substantial assistance in prosecuting co-conspirators and the government recommended that he serve 228 months.
Sentencing Guidelines Amendment 782 became effective in 2014, retroactively reducing by two levels the offense levels for most drug-trafficking crimes. Guerrero sent the district court a letter requesting that he be appointed counsel in order to seek resentencing under the amendment. The district court rejected Guerrero’s 2015 request and additionally found that Guerrero was eligible for a two-level reduction under Amendment 782 but that the reduction would make no difference to his ultimate sentence: Guerrero filed a motion for clarification. The court construed that as a late motion to reconsider and denied it. In 2018, Guerrero tried again, with counsel. The district court denied the motion without considering the merits. The Seventh Circuit vacated. The 2015 proceedings should not be counted against Guerrero as his one chance to seek relief under Amendment 782.