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Defendant Argues That Drug Possession Charge Does Not Merit Four Level Enhancements

The defendant in this case is appealing a four level enhancement that was applied to his sentence for using or possessing a firearm in relation to another felony offense. The district court found that the defendant’s firearm possession facilitated the underlying drug possession felony.

Case Background

According to the facts that were presented in the case a police officer observed the defendant and another individual acting suspiciously near a gas station. A New York Drug he officer stopped the defendant and asked if he had anything on his person that would be of concern to the officer. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the defendant admitted that he was carrying a small amount of marijuana. The officer searched him for the marijuana and found a loaded semiautomatic pistol in the front pants pocket of the defendant along with a small bag of marijuana. The defendant was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana.

Sentencing Determination

A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said the probation officer determined that the guideline range for sentencing of the defendant was from 57 to 71 months of imprisonment. The defendant had a criminal history category of IV and his total offense level was 21.

The defendant started with a base level of 20 and received three levels down for accepting responsibility. He then received a four level enhancement because he possessed the firearm in connection with another felony.

Objections

The defendant objects to the four level enhancements. The defendant acknowledges the fact that the marijuana possession is considered a felony offense because he had previously been convicted for selling of a controlled substance. However, a Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said that he argues that the government failed to prove that the possessed the gun in connection with the marijuana possession.

Court Discussion and Decision

During the sentencing hearing the district court heard arguments from both the defendant and the prosecution as well as testimony from the arresting officer. The district court denied the defendant’s objections to the four level enhancements and imposed a sentence of 65 months imprisonment.

The court has reviewed the application and interpretation of the de novo guidelines and the factual findings in this case. A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said it is clear that when calculating the guideline range for a firearm possession offense that a four level enhancement of the base level is required.

In this case it has been found that the defendant had the potential of facilitating another felony offense while in possession of the firearm as he was found to also be in possession of marijuana, which is considered a felony.

The defendant argues that because he was only charged with possession and not with drug trafficking that the four level enhancements should not have been made. However, a Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer when looking at the law it simply states another felony offense and a charge of possession is in fact considered another felony charge.

For these reasons the court affirms the previous ruling. The appeal by the defendant is denied and the previous sentence of 65 months imprisonment is upheld.

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