United States v. Keith Jackson

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ___________ No. 16-4060 ___________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. KEITH JACKSON, Appellant ____________________________________ On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Criminal No. 1:13-cr-00429-004) District Judge: Honorable Robert B. Kugler ____________________________________ Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) September 15, 2017 Before: VANASKIE, RENDELL, and FUENTES, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: October 5, 2017 ) _________ OPINION* _________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. FUENTES, Circuit Judge Originally charged alongside seven codefendants for his part in a drug distribution operation, appellant Keith Jackson agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. He now challenges both his designation as a Career Offender under the Sentencing Guidelines and his within-Guidelines sentence of 151 months in prison. We will affirm.1 We turn first to whether the Career Offender Guideline was properly applied. As set out in U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a), a defendant is a Career Offender if he or she 1) is 18 or older, 2) commits a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense, and 3) has at least two prior adult felony convictions for crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses. Whether Jackson properly fell within this definition mattered a great deal to his putative sentencing exposure. Without the Career Offender enhancement, Jackson’s total offense level/criminal history score would have been 23/IV, corresponding to a 70–87- month custodial sentence; with the enhancement, it was 29/VI, corresponding to a 151– 188-month custodial sentence. The sentence ultimately imposed by the District Court, 151 months, was at the low end of the Career Offender range, but was still greater than 1 We generally have jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3742(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Jackson’s plea agreement contains a waiver of appellate rights. However, he makes reference in his opening and reply brief to handwritten exceptions to the waiver found on the plea agreement docketed in the District Court, and referred to in the plea colloquy, but not reflected in the copy of the plea agreement contained in the government's Supplemental Appendix. We need not resolve this disparity, or determine the scope of the exceptions, because we affirm instead on the merits. 2 all but one of the sentences meted out to Jackson’s codefendants. The pre-sentence report flags three prior offenses that might qualify as Career Offender predicates. We need focus only on two, both of which were stipulated to in the plea agreement: “Possession of CDS [controlled dangerous substance] with Intent to Distribute,” a Camden County conviction from 2001 for which Jackson received a three- year sentence; and “Possess, Distribute, Manufacture CDS,” also from Camden County and also drawing a three-year sentence.2 The pre-sentence report does not specify which New Jersey law or laws Jackson violated on each occasion—an omission of some importance, as Jackson’s classification as a Career Offender depends on the elements of ...

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