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United States v. Jones

May 24, 1995

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JEFFREY JONES,

DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

No. 93 CR 557--James B. Zagel, Judge.

Before ALDISERT, *fn1 BAUER and FLAUM, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

ARGUED APRIL 14, 1995

DECIDED MAY 24, 1995

The district court sentenced the defendant, Jeffrey Jones, to thirty years imprisonment following his conviction on cocaine charges. On appeal, Jones argues that the court made several errors in sentencing him as a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("Guidelines"). We dismiss in part and affirm in part.

I.

On July 9, 1993, Jose Hernandez and Miguel Sanchez, government informants working with the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), met Frederick Anderson at a gas station when they asked Anderson for directions. Hernandez told Anderson he was a beeper and telephone salesman who was in the Chicago area "to go see friends and talk business." The two men exchanged beeper and telephone numbers.

Four days later, Hernandez and Anderson spoke by telephone (the record does not disclose who placed the call). Hernandez stated he was ready to talk about business and the men agreed to meet the next day at a fast-food restaurant near the gas station where they first met. Anderson brought Jones, whom he introduced as "Jefferson," to the meeting. When Hernandez asked why Anderson brought a friend to a meeting where they would be discussing illegal business, Anderson responded that Jones was his partner.

Hernandez told Anderson and Jones that he was bringing "pianos" to Chicago and would sell them for $22,000 or $23,000 per kilogram for two or three, or $20,000 per kilogram if the men bought ten. Anderson asked Jones whether he could "get enough people together so that we could get the price of $20,000." Jones responded affirmatively.

After this meeting, Hernandez spoke with Anderson by telephone several times, but admitted at trial that he never talked to Jones. At one point, Anderson stated that he and Jones wanted to buy four kilograms and said they had "eighty-four [thousand dollars]." On August 2, 1993, Hernandez and Anderson agreed to meet at the same restaurant. Anderson said he would bring his friend, which Hernandez understood to mean Jones.

Jones and Anderson arrived at the restaurant in a car driven by Jones. Anderson informed Hernandez that they had only $46,000 and agreed with Hernandez when he said they would only be able to purchase two kilograms. When Hernandez asked about the money, both Jones and Anderson responded that it was in a small box in the trunk. Sanchez walked to the back of the car while Jones started the car so Anderson could press the trunk release button. Sanchez lifted the box out of the hatchback and showed it to Hernandez, who saw the money inside. Sanchez then began to walk away from the car and started taking his hat on and off. Jones stated "I don't like what your friend is doing. He's doing something that's not right." DEA agents promptly arrested Anderson and Jones.

After his arrest, while at the DEA offices, Jones made a statement admitting that he dealt cocaine. He said that since November, 1992, his income had come from cocaine trafficking and that he sold between 1/2 and 1 ounce of cocaine per day. Jones stated that he received most of his cocaine from Anderson. Jones informed the DEA how much he paid Anderson for the cocaine and how much he sold it for after using a cutting agent to increase its quantity. Finally, Jones discussed another dealer from whom he purchased cocaine, including a quarter-pound in November, 1992, and ounces on a daily basis.

Jones and Anderson were indicted in the Northern District of Illinois on one count of conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of attempting to possess cocaine, both in violation of 21 U.S.C. sec. 846. After jury selection, Anderson pleaded guilty. Jones went to trial and was convicted of both counts. The district court sentenced him as a career offender under U.S.S.G. sec. 4B1.1. The court refused to reduce Jones's sentence for being a minor participant or for acceptance of responsibility and also declined to depart downward from his sentence. ...


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