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United States v. Butler

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 15, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RENARD R. BUTLER, Defendant-Appellant

Argued December 8, 2014.

Page 383

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 2:14-cr-00022-RTR-1 - Rudolph T. Randa, Judge.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Benjamin W. Proctor, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Milwaukee, WI.

For Renard R. Butler, Defendant - Appellant: Daniel W. Stiller, Federal Public Defender, Federal Defender Services of Eastern Wisconsin, Incorporated, Milwaukee, WI.

Before BAUER and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges, and ELLIS, District Judge.[1]

OPINION

Page 384

Bauer, Circuit Judge.

Defendant-Appellant, Renard R. Butler (" Butler" ), was convicted on two counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 472 and sentenced to 24 months' imprisonment. On appeal, he argues that the district court erred in calculating his sentence by improperly assigning two criminal history points to a prior state conviction for forgery. Butler contends that the conduct underlying this prior conviction is part of the instant offense and, as such, should be considered relevant conduct under U.S.S.G. § 1B1.3 instead. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 20, 2012, Butler was detained following a traffic stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and arrested after the police detected marijuana. Upon searching Butler, the officers discovered several counterfeit federal reserve notes of varying denominations in Butler's pockets. A subsequent investigation by the United States Secret Service revealed that Butler and two others had been manufacturing counterfeit notes earlier that day in a Milwaukee residence. Agents searched the residence and found a color printer along with a bag containing numerous misprints of counterfeit notes. Butler admitted to agents that he had purchased resume paper earlier that day to manufacture counterfeit currency and had sold the counterfeit notes to others. However, he was released from custody and not charged.

Page 385

Several months later, in January 2013, Butler became a suspect in a series of counterfeit transactions involving vehicle purchases in the Milwaukee area. The first of these transactions occurred on January 9, 2013, when Butler contacted a vehicle seller, T.V., who had listed a Cadillac Eldorado for sale online. At a meeting later that day, Butler passed T.V. an envelope containing $1,400 in exchange for the car. After the transaction, T.V. discovered that the money he had received was counterfeit and contacted the police. When the police showed T.V. a photo array of potential suspects, T.V. identified Butler as the buyer.

The second transaction occurred on January 20, 2013, when Butler contacted the seller of another vehicle, A.G., who had listed a Buick Roadmaster for sale online. They arranged a meeting for later that day, at which Butler passed A.G. an envelope containing $1,500 in exchange for the vehicle. Similar to the seller in the first transaction, A.G. discovered later that the money contained in the envelope was counterfeit and contacted the police. Upon viewing a photo array ...


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