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United States v. Rene

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 6, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
STEPHON RENE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On May 18, 2017, Stephon Rene pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense within Count Five of the Superseding Indictment. The Court now sentences him 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, Stephon Rene is hereby sentenced to 121 months of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, a forfeiture money judgment of $1, 000, 000.00, and a $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 15, 2015, the United States filed a seventy-five count Superseding Indictment against twenty-three defendants, including Stephon Rene ("Defendant"). See Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 48. On May 18, 2017, Defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense within Count Five of the Superseding Indictment, which charged a Narcotics Trafficking Conspiracy. See Plea Agreement ¶ 1, ECF No. 434.

         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, now twenty-one years old, was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 14, 1996. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 67, ECF No. 484. Defendant is one of seven children born to the consensual union of Stanley Rene and Nirva Cherenfant. Id. The parents separated in approximately 2002. Id. Defendant's father resides in Brooklyn, and is employed in construction. Id. Defendant's mother resides at the address of record, and is employed as a home health aide. Id. Defendant's parents are aware of his conviction and remain supportive. Id. Notably, two of his seven siblings, Stanley Cheranfant and Steven Cheranfant, are co-defendants in the instant case. Id. ¶ 69. Defendant stated that he maintains close relationships with his parents and siblings. Id. ¶ 71.

         Defendant was raised in a lower-income household. Id. ¶ 70. At the time his parents separated, Defendant remained with his mother. Id. At the age of thirteen, Defendant went to live with his father. Id. Defendant told Probation that his mother's residence was overcrowded and he was constantly arguing with his brothers. Id. Specifically, Defendant fought with his siblings over "food, the television and video games." Id. His father also believed that Defendant was not being supervised properly in his mother's home, as his mother worked long hours. Id. While living with his mother, Defendant's eldest sister was responsible for helping him with his homework and making snacks for him. Id. Defendant stated that there was no abuse in the home. A/, ¶7l.

         Defendant stated to Probation that he withdrew from school in tenth grade because he was constantly bullied over his height and for wearing the same clothes repeatedly. Id. ¶ 71. Defendant noted that he never informed his parents about the bullying, as he was embarrassed. Id. He also never informed them that he had stopped attending classes, and they were unaware of his withdrawal from school until they were contacted by the school. Id. Automotive High School in Brooklyn verified to Probation that Defendant attended their school from July 2, 2010 to June 6, 2014. Id. ...


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