UNITED STATES V. HIGHSMITH, NO. 13-201-cr (2D CIR. NOV. 22, 2013) (SACK, HALL, AND LIVINGSTON) (SUMMARY ORDER), AVAILABLE HERE
The Court denied this defendant’s appeal of his 15-year
sentence for distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine and a 924(c). The defendant argued that the district
court did not adequately consider certain 3553(a) factors and that it wrongly
doubled his sentence on the drug count from a 5-year mandatory minimum to
10-years. On plain error review,
the Court disagreed with both claims and found the sentence procedurally and
substantively reasonable. First,
the district court explained at the sentencing hearing that it considered the
PSR, the parties’ sentencing letters and identified various characteristics of the
defendant. The district court also
expressly stated that it was imposing a sentence sufficient, but not greater
than necessary to comply with 3553(a).
The 15-year sentence was substantively reasonable because it fell within the
permissible range of sentences. The guidelines recommended a 420-month term and
the two substantive counts of conviction each carried a 5-year minimum.