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United States v. Adams

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 14, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MARY ADAMS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          HON. WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On January 19, 2017, Mary Adams ("Defendant") pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841 (b)(1)(C). The Court now sentences her and provides a complete statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) of those factors set forth by Congress and the President and contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). For the reasons discussed below, Defendant is hereby sentenced to 12 months and 1 day of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, and payment of a $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 29, 2016, the United States filed a Complaint alleging Defendant and her co-defendant had unlawfully conspired to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance. See Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1. On June 7, 2016, the United States indicted Defendant and her co-defendant on two counts: (1) conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(C), and (2) possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). See Indictment at 1-2, ECF No. 10. On January 19, 2017, Defendant pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment pursuant to a Plea Agreement. See Plea Agreement ¶ 1, ECF No. 34.

         The Court hereby sentences Defendant and sets forth its reasons for Defendant's sentence using the rubric of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         18 U.S.C. § 3553 outlines the procedures for imposing sentence in a criminal case. If and when a district court chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Sentencing Guidelines range, the court "shall state in open court the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence, and .. . the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence different from that described" in the Guidelines. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). The court must also "state[] with specificity" its reasons for so departing "in a statement of reasons form[.]" Id.

         "The sentencing court's written statement of reasons shall be a simple, fact-specific statement explaining why the guidelines range did not account for a specific factor or factors under § 3553(a)." United States v. Davis, 08-CR-0332, 2010 WL 1221709, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2010) (Weinstein, J.). Section 3553(a) provides a set of seven factors for the Court to consider in determining what sentence to impose on a criminal defendant. The Court addresses each in turn.

         II. Analysis

         A. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and the History and Characteristics of the Defendant

         The first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to evaluate "the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1).

         Defendant was born on October 27, 1960, in Los Angeles, California, to unmarried parents. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 39, ECF No. 35. Defendant never met her father and was raised primarily by her maternal grandparents, as her mother was only twelve years old when Defendant was born. Id. ¶¶ 39, 41. Defendant's mother later married Defendant's stepfather when Defendant was nine years old, but the relationship was volatile, so Defendant continued to live with her grandparents. Id. ¶¶ 41-42. Even so, Defendant reports having had good relationships with her mother, who passed away in 1997, and her four maternal half-siblings. Id. ¶¶ 39-40. When Defendant was young, her grandmother supported the household by working as a housekeeper and later with the Sheriffs Department; Defendant's grandmother is still alive but suffers from Alzheimer's. Id. ¶ 41. Defendant visits her grandmother every day. Id.

         Defendant had her first daughter, V.S., when she was seventeen, at which time she moved back in with her mother. Id. ¶ 43. V.S.'s father did not provide child support or maintain contact with his daughter or Defendant. Id. When V.S. was six, she was diagnosed as being developmentally disabled-specifically, as suffering from psychosis. Id. V.S. is now 38 and her mother remains her primary caregiver, as V.S. cannot care for herself beyond the simplest tasks. Id. V.S.'s behavioral issues make it difficult to find alternative care for her. Id. For instance, when Defendant was ...


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