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UNITED STATES v. STOFFBERG

January 16, 1992

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA against DIRK STOFFBERG, Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JACK B. WEINSTEIN

 WEINSTEIN, J.:

 Defendant pled guilty to violation of munitions export laws. His sentencing guideline range is 8-14 months. Because he threatened violence during the course of his criminal activity, defendant would have been sentenced to 13 months, near the top of the guideline range, were it not for the intervention of Congress. He has already been in custody for 8 1/2 months. The case poses the question: can a request for clemency by Congress support a downward departure in the guideline offense level? As indicated below, the answer is yes.

 The Chief Counsel of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives requests that the court consider defendant's cooperation with the Committee. The letter reads:

 One Hundred Second Congress

 Congress of the United States

 Committee on Foreign Affairs

 House of Representatives

 Washington, D.C. 20515

 January 10, 1992

 Dear Judge Weinstein:

 Mr. Dirk Francois Stoffberg has to date provided the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs with substantial assistance in an on-going investigation. It is expected that this assistance will continue into the future.

 In addition, Mr. Stoffberg has offered to have his testimony preserved by deposition. He has also agreed to testify at any open or closed Congressional hearing if and when requested to do so. Our investigation pertains to the question whether the 52 Americans taken captive in Iran were held past the election of 1980 in violation of any U.S. laws. This issue is commonly referred to as the "October Surprise."

 Although Mr. Stoffberg's cooperation may not lead to any criminal action, the information which he has voluntarily provided to us has already been helpful and, to some extent, has been corroborated by other evidence. I would, therefore, request that Mr. Stoffberg's cooperation be ...


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