March 29th, 2022
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Singletary
Opinion Date: March 28, 2022
Judge: Stuart Kyle Duncan
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence for conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The court concluded that the district court did not err in applying an enhancement under USSG 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) because defendant's crime of conviction was distinct from the crime used to support the application of the (b)(6)(B) enhancement. In this case, defendant was convicted for conspiring to possess guns (i.e., make straw purchases) to help drug dealers, but defendant's sentence was enhanced under (b)(6)(B) because the straw purchases were used to protect or aid in the drug trafficking activity of the distributors. Therefore, the other felony offense for (b)(6)(B) purposes was the drug dealing conspiracy of the distributors, which was distinct from defendant's.
The court also concluded that the district court did not plainly err by applying both the section 2K2.1(b)(5) and (b)(6)(B) enhances as the district court did not apply the enhancements based on the same offense, but instead enhanced defendant's sentence to reflect his involvement in two distinct offenses.
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