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U.S. v. ASIEDU

June 13, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SAMUEL ASIEDU, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge

SENTENCING OPINION

On December 16, 2004, Defendant Samuel Asiedu ("Asiedu") appeared before the Honorable Andrew J. Peck of this district and allocuted to the conduct charged in the sole count of the indictment, conspiracy in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a) (1) and 841(b)(1)(A). Asiedu's plea was accepted on June 10, 2005. Asiedu will be sentenced to 60 months imprisonment and five years supervised release. A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory and is due immediately.

Prior Proceedings

  On May 6, 2004, the government filed a sealed indictment against Asiedu and his co-defendants, charging them with a single count of violating 21 U.S.C. § 846, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin. The indictment was unsealed on May 11, 2004, and an arrest warrant for Asiedu was issued on the same day. Asiedu, who had been incarcerated on New York state charges since May 3, 2004, was transferred on writ into federal custody on May 21, 2005. Asiedu entered a guilty plea on December 16, 2004, which this Court accepted on June 10, 2005, and currently Asiedu is scheduled for sentencing on June 13, 2005.

  The Sentencing Framework

  In accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), and the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. Crosby, 397 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2005), the sentence to be imposed was reached through consideration of all of the factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), including the advisory Sentencing Guidelines (the "Guidelines") established by the United States Sentencing Commission. Thus, the sentence to be imposed here is the result of a consideration of:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
(2) the need for the sentence imposed —
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct; (C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;
(3) the kinds of sentences available;
(4) the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for —
(A) the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines . . .;
(5) any pertinent policy statement . . . [issued by the Sentencing Commission];
(6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct; and
(7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense.
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). A sentencing judge is permitted to find all the facts appropriate for determining a sentence, whether that sentence is a so-called Guidelines sentence or not. See Crosby, 397 F.3d at 114-15.

  The Defendant

  The Court adopts the facts set forth in the Probation Department's Pre-sentence Report with respect to Asiedu's family history and personal history. The Offense Conduct

  The indictment filed in this action charges that from at least 1999 through May 2004, Asiedu, along with his nineteen co-defendants and others, were members of a criminal organization in the Bronx that controlled a three-block strip of Daly Avenue between East 179th Street and Bronx Park South (the "Daly Avenue Organization" or the "Organization"). According to the indictment, the Organization sold heroin all day and late into the night during the period identified in the indictment, conducting tens of thousands of hand-to-hand heroin transactions. The Organization operated out of several buildings, including 2105 Daly Avenue and 2114 Daly Avenue.

  Asiedu was a "worker" or "pitcher" for the Organization. Workers or pitchers for the Organization would be provided heroin on consignment by managers in the Organization, and would then sell the heroin to customers, paying the managers for the heroin as they were able to sell it. Workers and pitchers also acted as "steerers," directing customers on Daly Avenue to other workers or to managers to complete sales of heroin. According to the indictment, eleven of Hernandez's co-defendants also acted as workers or pitchers.

  Based on trial testimony before the Court, the Organization sold an average of twenty-five bundles of heroin a day, which amounts to approximately half of a kilogram per month, although the actual amount could vary from month to month.*fn1 With respect to Asiedu specifically, the Court estimates that he should be held accountable for conspiring to distribute between 3 and 10 kilograms of heroin during his eight month involvement (from September 2003 through May 1, 2004)*fn2 with the conspiracy. Asiedu was transferred into federal custody on May 21, 2004.

  The Relevant Statutory Provisions

  The statutory minimum term of imprisonment for the sole count of the indictment is ten years and the maximum term is life, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. The applicability of the statutory minimum sentence may be limited in certain cases pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(f)(1)-(5).

  If a term of imprisonment is imposed, the Court subsequently shall impose a term of supervised release of at least five ...


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