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United States v. Johnson

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 13, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Philroy Johnson, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: August 6, 2019

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland. No. 1:18-cr-00057-1-John R. Adams, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Scott W. Coyle, SQUIRE, PATTON, BOGGS (US) LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Margaret A. Kane, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Scott W. Coyle, Colter L. Paulson, SQUIRE, PATTON, BOGGS (US) LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, Nathan L. Colvin, VORYS, SATER, SEYMOUR & PEASE LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Margaret A. Kane, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee.

          Before: SUTTON, GRIFFIN, and READLER, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          Sutton, Circuit Judge.

         Philroy Johnson developed a penchant for illegally carrying firearms. When he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, that was his fifth firearm conviction. The district court varied upward from the guidelines range by 14 months and sentenced him to the statutory maximum: 60 months. Because the sentence was procedurally and substantively reasonable, we affirm.

         In November 2017, officers from the Cleveland Gang Impact Unit took Johnson into custody based on an outstanding arrest warrant, issued when Johnson failed to appear in state court for his arraignment on state charges. The officers searched Johnson and found a loaded pistol with an obliterated serial number, a plastic bag with crack cocaine, a plastic bag containing marijuana, and $460. Johnson pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(k).

         The probation office calculated Johnson's sentencing guidelines range as 37 to 46 months. The court varied the sentence to 60 months, the statutory maximum. Johnson appealed.

         Was this sentence procedurally reasonable? To satisfy that requirement, the court must properly calculate the guidelines range, treat the range as advisory, consider the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), and sufficiently explain its sentence. United States v. Rayyan, 885 F.3d 436, 440 (6th Cir. 2018). All without considering impermissible factors or ...


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