United States v. Smith

Smith twice sold cocaine to a confidential informant. A search of his home uncovered 12.83 grams of cocaine base, 111.57 grams of cocaine powder, a rifle, a body‐armor vest, and a digital scale. Charged possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm; and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance, Smith had a 2004 felony drug conviction for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base and a 2009 Indiana conviction for “Dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug.” The career offender sentencing enhancement, U.S.S.G. 4B1.1. applies where the defendant has two prior felony convictions for either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense. With the enhancement, Smith’s PSR calculated an imprisonment range as 188-235 months. Smith argued that his conviction under Indiana Code 35‐48‐4‐1 was not a “controlled substance offense” The court imposed a sentence of 188 months. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Arguably, the Indiana statute has the same elements as section 4B1.2(b), so the career‐offender enhancement should apply under the categorical approach; even if the statute is broader than the Guidelines’ definition, it is divisible, so the modified categorical approach would reach the same result. View "United States v. Smith" on Justia Law