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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert Leon MERTENS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 20-30182

Decided: June 25, 2021

Before: SILVERMAN, WATFORD, and BENNETT, Circuit Judges. Michael Wayne Mitchell, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney, Coeur d'Alene, ID, Justin David Whatcott, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney, Boise, ID, for Plaintiff-Appellee Robert Leon Mertens, Pro Se


Robert Leon Mertens appeals pro se from the district court's order denying his motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. “[W]e review § 3582(c)(1) sentence reduction decisions for abuse of discretion,” United States v. Aruda, 993 F.3d 797, 799 (9th Cir. 2021), and we affirm.

Mertens was sentenced in 2004 to 444 months’ imprisonment for convictions including distribution of and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, firearm possession, and money laundering. Since that time, he has filed two successful motions for a sentence reduction, resulting in a sentence of 314 months. In the instant motion, Mertens sought a further reduction, citing his ongoing rehabilitative efforts and changing societal attitudes regarding marijuana.

Contrary to Mertens's contention, the record shows that the court considered his arguments and evidence showing that his rehabilitative efforts continued even after his two successful sentence reduction motions. The court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that those additional efforts, in addition to changing societal attitudes about marijuana, did not warrant a third sentence reduction. See United States v. Robertson, 895 F.3d 1206, 1213 (9th Cir. 2018) (district court abuses its discretion only if its decision is illogical, implausible, or not supported by the record).

Mertens's “Motion for a Notice to the Court and Request for a Hearing” is denied.


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