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United States v. Santiago

October 11, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
PETER SANTIAGO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet, Usdj

SENTENCING OPINION

Defendant Peter Santiago ("Santiago") pled guilty to one count of conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five grams and more of crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a) (1) and (b) (1) (B). For the reasons set forth below, Santiago will be sentenced to sixty months' imprisonment, to be followed by a five year term of supervised release. Santiago also will be required to pay a special assessment of $100.

Prior Proceedings

Santiago was originally arrested on February 8, 2005. A case was brought against him in Bronx County criminal court, but was later dismissed. After Santiago declined to cooperate with a law enforcement investigation, he was arrested by federal agents on January 11, 2006, and has been held without bail since that time. On May 11, 2006, a single-count information 4s filed in this District, charging Santiago with conspiracy distribute and possess with intent to distribute five grams and more of crack cocaine. Santiago appeared the same day before the Honorable Andrew J. Peck and allocuted to the conduct charged in the information, in connection with a plea agreement stipulating that the applicable Guidelines range for imprisonment is sixty to seventy-one months. Santiago's sentencing is scheduled for October 2, 2006.

The Sentencing Framework

In accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (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. § 355314), 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, a to provide just punishment for the offense;

(B)to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct; to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and

(A)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. ยง 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 ...


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