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United States v. Harris

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION


May 22, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SPENCER HARRIS, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeanne E. Scott, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This matter came before the Court on Defendant Spencer Harris' sentencing hearing held May 21, 2007. Defendant Harris was present in person and through his attorney D. Peter Wise. The Government was present through Assistant United States Attorney David Risley. On October 10, 2006, following a jury trial, Harris was found guilty of the following charges in the Indictment (d/e 14): Distribution of Cocaine Base ("Crack") in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B), as alleged in Count 1; Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base ("Crack") in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B), as alleged in Count 2; Possession of a Firearm by a Felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), as alleged in Count 3; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(I), as alleged in Count 4; and Distribution of Cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C), as alleged in Count 5.*fn1

The Court received a Revised Presentence Report (PSR), dated May 3, 2007, prepared by the United States Probation Office. Neither the Government nor the Defendant had any objections to the PSR. Thus, the Court accepted the PSR as written and adopted its findings. The Court determined that Harris had a final offense level of 37 for Counts 1, 2, 3 and 5, because he qualified as a career offender. The Court noted that Harris had 27 criminal history points, which placed him in Criminal History Category VI. Also as career offender, Harris fell in Criminal History Category VI. An offense level of 37 and Criminal History Category VI called for a Guideline range of: 360 months to life imprisonment on each of Counts 1, 2 and 5, to run concurrently, 120 months imprisonment on Count 3, to run concurrently with Counts 1, 2 and 5, and 60 months imprisonment on Count 4, to run consecutively to the sentences imposed on Counts 1, 2, 3 and 5.

The Court noted that the Guidelines are advisory, and that the Court was required to exercise its discretion to determine Defendant Harris' 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).

THEREFORE, after considering the case file, the evidence presented at trial, the PSR, the statements of counsel, the applicable Sentencing Guidelines, and the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the Court sentenced Defendant Harris to 400 months imprisonment on each of Counts 1, 2 and 5, to run concurrently; 120 months imprisonment on Count 3, to run concurrently to the sentences imposed on Counts 1, 2 and 5; and 60 months imprisonment on Count 4, to run consecutively to the sentences imposed on Counts 1, 2, 3 and 5. No fine was ordered. After his release from prison, Defendant Harris was ordered to serve a period of eight years of supervised release on each of Counts 1 and 2; three years on Count 3; and five years on each of Counts 4 and 5, all to run concurrently. Harris was ordered to pay a $500.00 special assessment, which was due within the first two years of his sentence. The Court advised Defendant Harris of his appeal rights. At Defendant's request, the Court directed the Clerk to file a Notice of Appeal on behalf of Defendant Harris. The Court found that Defendant Harris remained indigent and therefore ordered that transcripts be prepared and furnished to Defendant without charge for purposes of his appeal. The Court recommended to the Seventh Circuit that Harris be appointed counsel to assist him in his appeal.

IT IS THEREFORE SO ORDERED.

JEANNE E. SCOTT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


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