UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION
March 23, 2007
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
NERON H. SAMUELS, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeanne E. Scott, U.S. District Judge
This matter came before the Court on March 23, 2007, for the sentencing hearing of Defendant Neron H. Samuels. Defendant Samuels appeared in person and by his attorney Bruce D. Locher. The Government appeared by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Childress. On August 28, 2006, Defendant Samuels pleaded guilty to the charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 or More Grams of a Mixture or Substance Containing Cocaine Base (Crack), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iii), as alleged in the Indictment (d/e 6). The United States Probation Office prepared a Revised Presentence Investigation Report (PSR), dated March 9, 2007.
The Government had no objections to the PSR.
The Defendant objected to paragraphs 20 and 23 of the PSR. These paragraphs state that Samuels bought cocaine from Dwayne and Tyrone Rush through an intermediary named Cordell James. Samuels admits buying drugs from James, but denies ever having met Dwayne or Tyrone Rush. The Court determined that a ruling on this objection was unnecessary because the matter would not affect sentencing. Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(i)(3)(B) & (C).
The Defendant also objected to paragraph 24 of the PSR. This paragraph states that Samuels should be accountable, as relevant conduct, for distributing a total of 4.42 kilograms of crack to Jonathan Hill in 2003 and 2004. Samuels admitted selling crack to Hill, but testified that the amount was much less. The Court heard the evidence and sustained the objection in part. The Court determined that Samuels should be accountable for distributing a total of 117 grams of crack to Hill in 2003 and 2004.
Samuels did not object to the other calculations in the PSR of the drug quantities for which he was held accountable. Accordingly, after reducing the quantity in paragraph 24 to 117 grams, the Court determined that Samuels should be accountable for distributing a total of 181.5 grams of crack cocaine for purposes of calculating the advisory sentencing range under the Guidelines.
The Defendant had no additional objections to the PSR. The Court, therefore, adopted the findings of the PSR as its own, subject to the ruling on the objection to paragraph 24 set forth above. Accordingly, the Court found that Defendant Samuels had a final Guideline Offense Level of 31, and was in Criminal History Category V, resulting in an advisory Guideline Sentencing range of 168 months to 210 months, in Zone D of the Guidelines. The Court noted that the Guidelines are advisory, and that the Court was required to exercise its discretion to determine Defendant Samuels' sentence, considering the Guidelines, the statutory sentencing factors, and all other relevant information. United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005); 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
The Government then made a Motion for a downward departure for substantial assistance. U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1. The Court allowed the Motion.
THEREFORE, after considering the case file, the evidence presented, the Guidelines, the relevant statutory sentencing factors, the arguments of counsel, and the statement of Defendant Samuels, the Court sentenced Defendant Neron H. Samuels to a term of 161 months imprisonment, to be followed by 8 years of supervised release, and imposed a $100.00 special assessment, which was due immediately. The Court determined that no fine should be imposed. The Court recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that Defendant Samuels be placed in a facility that has an intensive drug treatment program and that is as close to Springfield, Illinois, as possible. The parties agreed that Defendant Samuels had waived his appeal rights in his Plea Agreement (d/e 11).
IT IS THEREFORE SO ORDERED.
JEANNE E. SCOTT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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