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United States v. Santana

United States District Court, E.D. New York

August 4, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
WILLIAM SANTANA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

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

         On November 12, 2015, the defendant, William Santana, pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense of one count of Narcotics Distribution Conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(b)(1)(B)(i), and 841(b)(1)(C). The Court now sentences the defendant 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, the defendant is hereby sentenced to 48 months of incarceration, 5 years of supervised release, and payment of the $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 19, 2014, the United States filed an Indictment against William Santana ("Defendant") and three co-defendants, alleging a conspiracy to distribute heroin within the Eastern District of New York. ECF No. 1. The United States later filed a three-count Superseding Indictment against Defendant and four co-defendants on October 16, 2014. ECF No. 52. The Superseding Indictment charged Defendant with one count of Narcotics Distribution Conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(B), and one count of Use of a Firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i). Id. at 1-2. Defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense of Count One of the Superseding Indictment on November 12, 2015. See ECF No. 106.

         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 a 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-332, 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 December 2, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 52, ECF No. 159. He was one of two children born to his parents, who were in a long-term but "secret" relationship, as Defendant's father was married to another woman throughout their relationship. Id. ¶¶ 52-54. Defendant has five half-siblings from his father's marriage and two additional half-siblings from his father's other extramarital relationships. Id. ¶ 54. Defendant did not have contact with his half-siblings until he was approximately 14 years old, when his stepmother reached out to him. Id.

         Defendant was raised primarily by his mother, who suffered from a heroin addiction, in difficult circumstances. Id. ¶¶ 52, 55. Until he was approximately eight years old, Defendant lived in the Boriquen Houses, a public housing complex in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in a crowded apartment with his mother, brother, grandparents, and several other relatives, many of whom abused alcohol and/or drugs, particularly heroin. Id. ¶ 55. Several of Defendant's family members ultimately died from causes related to alcohol and/or drug abuse, including his mother, who died from a heart attack at the age of 28 in 1982. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 52, 55. Defendant then continued to live with his grandparents, who also struggled with the ...


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