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9th Circuit denies Montgomery’s petition for reduced sentence

THE U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied Bert Douglas Montgomery’s petition for  reduced  sentence.

Montgomery, who was convicted of conspiracy to defraud Bank of Saipan in 2003, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. He represented himself in the appeal.

The ruling affirmed the District Court for the NMI’s order that denied Montgomery’s motion to reduce his sentence.

Ninth Circuit judges William C. Canby Jr., A. Wallace Tashima, and Michelle T. Friedland said the district court correctly rejected Montgomery’s claim that he was eligible for a sentence reduction under Amendment 794 to the sentencing guidelines.

 The sentencing guidelines do not include Amendment 794 on its list of covered amendments, the Ninth Circuit judges said.

 They added that the district court has the authority to lower a sentence if the defendant’s guideline range has been lowered as a result of an amendment listed in the sentencing guidelines.

 But Montgomery did not challenge this conclusion on appeal. “Rather, he renews his argument that the district court lacked jurisdiction over his underlying criminal case, and asserts several new arguments challenging his conviction.”

 The Ninth Circuit also rejected Montgomery’s argument that the district court “erred by declining to treat his motion as a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)’s  ‘escape hatch’ —  we reject that argument,” the Ninth Circuit judges added. 

 In 2003, the district court imposed a 20-year prison term on 65-year-old Montgomery for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud: deprivation of honest services, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and three counts of money laundering.

The court also directed Montgomery and his co-defendants Tomas B. Aldan and Dusean Berkich to pay $5.8 million in restitution to Bank of Saipan.

 In 2011 the court denied Montgomery’s request for a stay order on the restitution.

The court also denied his motion to access transcript of a hearing on a motion for release of bond, as well as his motion seeking to get the names of the persons who sat on the jury that convicted him.

 On Jan. 31, 2017, Montgomery filed a motion to dismiss his indictment pursuant to Rule 12 of the federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

On March 15, 2017, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona  denied Montgomery’s petition for a certificate of appealability.

  In April 2017, the Ninth Circuit  denied his petition for writ of mandamus, stating that the defendant had not demonstrated that his case warranted the intervention of the appellate court.