The defendant is appealing the 97 month sentence that has been opposed upon him for his guilty plea to the charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana (marijuana possession).
The defendant agreed that he participated in a conspiracy to acquire and distribute quantities of marijuana. He also agree that he along with the two co-defendants provided marijuana to others during a two year time frame. The defendant also agreed that he along with his co-defendants delivered over 100 kilograms to another individual and the marijuana would be stored at that residence and the individual would distribute it.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that according to the investigation report the individual that the drugs were provided to run a large drug trafficking network and the defendant was the primary source for marijuana. The average price per pound was around $3500.
Telephone records were produced by the police officers and they shows a number of different calls between the defendant and all of the co-defendants.
During the trial there were several witnesses called. Most of the witnesses had acted as drug mules for the drug ring. A ledger that was found in the home clearly showed that marijuana was coming and going from the home.
Case Discussion and Decision
A Bronx Criminal Lawyer said the sentence guidelines range was used to determine the sentence of the defendant. A base level offense of 26n was applied because the incident involved more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, but less than 400 grams. A two level enhancement was applied because a dangerous weapon was possessed by the defendant. A four level enhancement was added as well because it was found that the defendant was the organizer or leader of criminal activity that involved at least five participants.
The defendant argues that the enhancements were wrongly added because although he was considered a leader of the conspiracy there were not more than five members of the group. He states that one of the co-conspirators was just a buyer and not part of the conspiracy.
The court disagrees with the defendant on this argument and the enhancement of his sentence is affirmed. The law states that the four level enhancements can be added if there are five or more participants in the conspiracy and the accused has a leadership role or if the drug conspiracy is extensive. In this case the case is found to be extensive in both the length of time that it went on and the amount of drugs that were transferred.
The court also affirms the offense level enhancement for the firearm conspirator charge. Accordingly, the sentence for the defendant is affirmed.
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