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United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Jahkeem RYAN, aka Jah Banko, Maurice Wood, aka Piff, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 17-3919-cr(L), No. 17-3969-cr(CON), No. 18-985-cr(CON)

Decided: August 16, 2019

PRESENT: DENNIS JACOBS, RAYMOND J. LOHIER, JR., SUSAN L. CARNEY, Circuit Judges. FOR APPELLEE: Paul D. Silver, Assistant United States Attorney, for Grant C. Jaquith, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Albany, NY. FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT JAHKEEM RYAN: Todd Gregory Monahan, Schenectady, NY. FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT MAURICE WOOD: Kevin A. Luibrand, Luibrand Law Firm, PLLC, Latham, NY.


Jahkeem Ryan appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Kahn, J.) sentencing him principally to a term of imprisonment of seventy-one months. This summary order addresses Ryan’s challenge to his sentence. A separate opinion filed simultaneously with this summary order resolves the consolidated appeal of Ryan’s codefendant-appellant, Maurice Wood. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts and the record of prior proceedings, to which we refer only as necessary to explain our decision to affirm.

Ryan argues that his sentence was substantively unreasonable both because he received a higher sentence (by fourteen months) than his codefendant, Maurice Wood, and because the District Court failed to depart or vary downward from the applicable Guidelines range based on his family circumstances or his overstated criminal history category. We are not persuaded by either argument.

As to the first argument, there is an “apparent explanation” for the fourteen-month disparity between Ryan’s sentence and Wood’s. United States v. Ebbers, 458 F.3d 110, 129 (2d Cir. 2006). Ryan and Wood both pled guilty to one felon-in-possession charge, but Ryan pled guilty to four controlled-substance charges, while Wood pled guilty to just two. And Wood completed drug treatment programs and programs in jail, while Ryan had a record of deserting treatment programs.

Second, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in declining to depart or vary downward based on Ryan’s family circumstances, which were no more extraordinary than those of many defendants. Nor can we say that the District Court abused its discretion in including Ryan’s youthful offender misdemeanor to calculate his criminal history category. The District Court may properly have viewed that offense as the start of a pattern of criminal activity.

We have considered Ryan’s remaining arguments and conclude that they are without merit. For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the District Court with respect to Jahkeem Ryan, Nos. 17-3919, 17-3969, is AFFIRMED.

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