The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet U.S.D.J.
On May 12, 2006, defendant Winston Harding ("Harding") pled guilty to one count of conspiring in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a) (1), and 841(b) (1)- (A). For the reasons set forth below, Harding will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 48 months, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. Harding will also be required to pay a mandatory special assessment of $100.
Harding was arrested on September 8, 2005, and has remained in continuous custody since that date. An indictment was filed in the Southern District of New York on December 6, 2005, charging that from about June 2005 to about September 8, 2005, Harding and others conspired in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fifty grams and more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A). On May 12, 2006, Harding appeared before the Honorable Andrew J. Peck of this district and pled guilty to the charged criminal conduct in accordance with a plea agreement entered into with the Government. Harding's guilty plea was accepted by this Court on June 2, 2006, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on September 29, 2006.
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;
(1)the kinds of sentences available;
(2) 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 ...;
(3) any pertinent policy statement ... [issued by the Sentencing Commission];
(4) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct; and
(5) 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 ...