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United States v. Hatfield

May 9, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LEAMON A. HATFIELD, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

A. Background and Introduction

Defendant Leamon A. Hatfield was indicted by the United States on February 23, 2007 for conspiracy to unlawfully enter pharmacies with the intent to steal controlled substances in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2118(b) and (d). A jury trial commenced October 29, 2007, and the jury found Hatfield guilty on November 2, 2007.

Sentencing was initially set for February 8, 2008. The Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSR) indicated a total restitution amount of $235,397.09. Hatfield filed a sentencing memorandum with respect to the PSR (Doc. 114), requesting that he not be ordered to pay the full amount because he was not personally involved in each and every burglary. Rather, he argues that because he was only involved in two robberies-Sevierville, TN and Princeton, WV-and there was no loss reported at those locations, no restitution should be ordered.

At sentencing, the Court directed the parties to file memoranda addressing the issue and set a hearing for May 9, 2008. Hatfield filed his memorandum on February 27, 2008 (Doc. 137) and the Government filed its response on April 3, 2008 (Doc. 140).

Having thoroughly considered the parties' arguments, the Court hereby ORDERS that Hatfield pay restitution in the full amount of $235,397.09.

B. Analysis

Section 5E1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines provides:

(a) In the case of an identifiable victim, the court shall

(1) enter a restitution order for the full amount of the victim's loss, if such order is authorized under . . . 18 U.S.C. § 3663A; . . .

The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(c)(1)(A)(ii), requires that a defendant be ordered to make restitution to the victim of the offense, where the conviction was for an offense against property under the Controlled Substances Act. This is the case here, where Hatfield was convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully enter pharmacies with the intent to steal controlled substances.

Furthermore, the statute defines "victim" as: a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of an offense for which restitution may be ordered including, in the case of an offense that involves as an element a scheme, conspiracy, or pattern of criminal activity, any person directly harmed by the defendant's criminal conduct in the course of the scheme, conspiracy, or pattern.

Section 3663(A)(a)(2) (emphasis added).

Hatfield argues that the language "directly harmed" prevents the Court from ordering restitution with respect to any burglaries in which he did not personally participate. In essence, he asserts that the pharmacies that he did not personally burglarize are not his "victims" within the meaning of the Act. Rather, because the evidence indicates that he was only involved in two burglaries-Sevierville, TN and Princeton, WV-and no loss ...


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