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United States v. Davis

United States District Court, D. Idaho

January 4, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL LANCE DAVIS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye Chief U.S. District Court

         I. OVERVIEW

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Michael Davis' objection to the Presentence Investigation Report's designation of him as an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Dkt. 26. As outlined below, the Court finds that Davis' conviction for delivery of a controlled substance under Idaho Code § 37-2732(a)(1)(A) constitutes a serious drug offense within the meaning of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”). Accordingly, Davis' objection is OVERRULLED, his designation as an armed career criminal stands, and he will receive the appropriate enhancement.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On February 14, 2018, the Grand Jury indicated Davis on one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), one count of distribution of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and one count of distribution of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1). Dkt. 1. On May 15, 2018, Davis entered a guilty plea to counts one and two of the Indictment and agreed to the drug forfeiture contained in the Indictment. Dkt. 20.

         On July 2, 2018, the United States Probation Office issued its Initial Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) recommending an adjusted offense level of 30 and a four-point enhancement for having at least three prior felonies of either a crime of violence or a serious drug offense. The probation officer classified Davis as an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Dkt. 30 at 5. Combined with the three-points in reductions for accepting responsibility and timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a guilty plea, the Probation Office recommended Davis receive a total offense level of 31.

         Davis objected to his designation as an Armed Career Criminal arguing that his Idaho conviction for Delivery of a Controlled Substance under §37-2732(a)(1)(A) does not categorically qualify as a “serious drug offense” within the meaning of the ACCA.

         The government responded, arguing that a conviction under Idaho Code §37-2732(a)(1)(A), delivery of a controlled substance, is an offense involving the distribution of a controlled substance which qualifies as a “serious drug offense” under the ACCA and asking that Davis' objection be overruled. The United States Probation Office addressed Davis' objection in an Addendum to the PSR but did not make any changes to the original PSR calculations.

         The Court was originally scheduled to sentence Davis on November 20, 2018. After hearing oral argument from both parties, the Court continued the sentencing to issue a written decision on Davis' objection. Here, the Court addresses the designation of Davis as an Armed Career Criminal.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The ACCA imposes a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence on individuals convicted of being felons in possession of a firearm who have three prior convictions for “a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). A “serious drug offense” is defined as:

(i) an offense under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), or chapter 705 of title 46, for which a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more is prescribed by law; or
(ii) an offense under State law, involving manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), for which a maximum term of ...

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