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UNITED STATES v. Earnest Valentine, Appellant (2018)

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United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America v. Ernest VALENTINE, a/k/a BOP Earnest Valentine, Appellant

No. 17-2253

Decided: June 07, 2018

Before: HARDIMAN, BIBAS, and ROTH, Circuit Judges. Mark E. Coyne, Esq., Richard J. Ramsay, Esq., Office of United States Attorney, Newark, NJ, Deborah Prisinzano Mikkelsen, Office of United States Attorney, Camden, NJ, for Plaintiff-Appellee Stacy A. Biancamano, Esq., Chatham, NJ, for Defendant-Appellant


Ernest Valentine appeals the District Court’s judgment of sentence, claiming legal error in the calculation of his criminal history. According to Valentine, § 4A1.2(c)(2) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines precluded the District Court from assigning him a criminal history point for his convictions under a New Jersey statute forbidding “loitering for the purpose of illegally using, possessing or selling a controlled substance.” N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:33-2.1(b). As Valentine acknowledges, we rejected this argument in United States v. Hines, 628 F.3d 101, 109–14 (3d Cir. 2010). Because we—like the District Court—are bound by Hines unless and until it is overturned by the Supreme Court or by this Court sitting en banc, see 3d Cir. I.O.P. 9.1, we will affirm.

HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge.

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