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United States of America v. Anthony M. Lyons

August 23, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ANTHONY M. LYONS, DEFENDANT.



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

E-FILED Friday, 24 August, 2012 10:35:10 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter came before the Court on August 13, 2012 for the sentencing of Defendant Anthony M. Lyons. The Government appeared by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Bohm. Defendant appeared in person with his attorney, Mark Wykoff.

On October 6, 2011, Defendant was charged by a single-count Indictment for Felon in Possession of a Firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). On March 27, 2012, a jury found Defendant guilty of the offense charged in the Indictment, and a judgment of conviction was entered. See Minute Entry of March 27, 2011. The United States Probation Office prepared a Revised Presentence Report (PSR), dated June 29, 2012.

At the sentencing hearing, this Court stated that it had reviewed the PSR, Defendant's Sentencing Commentary (d/e 43), Defendant's Pro Se Addendum to Sentencing Commentary (d/e 44), and the Government's Sentencing Commentary (d/e 42). The Court heard arguments regarding objections to the PSR, including pro se argument by Defendant. Defendant raised an additional pro se objection that was not previously filed with the Court. The Court overruled all objections and adopted the findings of the PSR as its own. The Court determined that the Guideline sentence was 210 to 260 months with a supervised release term of 30 months.

The Court then heard arguments regarding the sentence from the Government and Defendant's counsel and heard the allocution of Defendant. The Court declined to impose a below-Guideline sentence, as requested by Defendant. After consideration of the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), as well as the relevant Guideline provisions, case file, and all arguments presented, this Court sentenced Defendant to 210 months' imprisonment with a five-year term of supervised release.

The Court now issues this Opinion to set forth in further detail the Court's reasons for overruling Defendant's objections and imposing the sentence.

I. SENTENCING GUIDELINES

A. The PSR's Guideline Calculations The PSR stated that Defendant's base offense level was 24 under U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1. The PSR assigned Defendant two additional points under U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(4)(A) because Defendant's offense involved a stolen firearm. The PSR also added two additional points for obstruction of justice under U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1, finding that Defendant had falsely testified at trial regarding the events surrounding the offense. Specifically, the PSR stated that Defendant falsely testified (1) that he had no knowledge of the firearm found on his person prior to the time that he was booked into Sangamon County Jail and (2) that he was mistreated by law enforcement officials and was taken for a "joy ride" around Springfield, Illinois, after his arrest. See PSR at 4 (para. 10). As a result, Defendant's adjusted offense level was 28.

Next, the PSR found that Defendant had three prior convictions for controlled substance offenses: (1) unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Livingston County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 00-CF-107; (2) unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Will County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 05-CF-2142; and (3) unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Will County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Case No. 06-CF-1842. Based on these three convictions, the PSR found that Defendant was subject to an enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). See 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). The ACCA provides that an individual who violates section 922(g) and has "three previous convictions by any court referred to in section 922(g)(1) of this title for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, committed on occasions different from one another . . . shall be imprisoned not less than fifteen years." 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). As a result, the PSR concluded that Defendant's base offense level was 33 under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.4(b)(3)(B).

According to the PSR, Defendant had 11 criminal history points, placing him in a criminal history category of V. Based on a total offense level of 33 and a Criminal History Category of V, and according to the Sentencing Table, the PSR found that Defendant's applicable Guideline Range was 210 to 262 months' imprisonment.

B. Defendant's Objections to the PSR At sentencing, the Court first heard argument on Defendant's objections that were filed by Defendant's counsel and then heard argument on Defendant's pro se objections.

Defendant first objected to the imposition of a two-level enhancement for obstruction of justice pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1. This Court found that the matter would not affect sentencing because Defendant's base and total offense level was 33, due to the application of the armed career criminal enhancement, regardless of whether the Court applied the obstruction of justice enhancement. Therefore, the Court overruled the objection as moot.

Defendant next objected to the PSR's categorization of Defendant as an armed career criminal under the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), which sets a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment. See PSR at 6 (para. 22). This Court overruled the objection, finding that Defendant was properly subject to the enhancement under the ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Defendant has three prior convictions by a court referred to in section 922(g)(1) for a "serious drug offense," committed on occasions ...


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