United States First Circuit

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US v. Gordon, 15-2395

In a case of first impression for this circuit, involving the interpretation of a sentencing guideline that is frequently used to enhance sentences for those convicted of drug-related crimes, U.S.S.G. section 2D1.1(b)(15)(E), and is potentially applicable to a wide range of other offenses, defendant's sentence for his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, more than 28 grams of cocaine base, 21 U.S.C. section 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(B), is affirmed over defendant's claim that the district court improperly applied a two-level enhancement -- for offenses committed 'as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood,' U.S.S.G. sections 2D1.1(b)(15)(E), 4B1.3 -- both by misinterpreting the guideline and by making erroneous predicate findings of fact, where: 1) the district court did not commit legal error when it used defendant's gross, rather than net, income derived from drug trafficking to determine that his income surpassed the $14,500 threshold; and 2) nor did the court commit factual error when it concluded that drug trafficking was defendant's primary occupation.

Appellate Information

  • Argued
  • Submitted
  • Decided
  • Published 2017/03/29




  • United States First Circuit


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