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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
July 28, 2009, Argued; November 23, 2009, Decided; November 23, 2009, Filed
File Name: 09a0404p.06
[*350] [***1] EDMUND A. SARGUS, JR., District Judge. Defendant-Appellant Wasem Petrus ("Defendant") challenges the 70-month sentenced imposed by the district court [***2] following his guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("MDMA"). Defendant contends that his sentence is procedurally unreasonable [**2] because the district judge failed to adequately explain her apparent rejection of Defendant's arguments for leniency, failed to adequately explain how she selected the sentence imposed, and failed to give proper weight to facts and circumstances suggesting a lesser penalty. For the reasons that follow, we hereby AFFIRM the sentence imposed by the district court.
Defendant was charged in a one-count indictment returned July 20, 2007 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute MDMA in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. Defendant pleaded guilty to the charge on November 13, 2007, and a sentencing hearing was held on May 20, 2008.
At the sentencing hearing, Defendant's counsel urged the district court to consider the fact that Defendant had been born in Iraq and that his family fled as refugees when Defendant was a young child. According to Defendant's counsel, due to his parents' poor health, Defendant has "been the man of his family" since a very young age, having dropped out of school after the tenth grade to help support his family. (Sentencing Tr. at 4.) Defendant's counsel [**3] asked the Court to "take into account [Defendant's] personal circumstances, including the fact that he takes care of his family." (Id. at 6.) He pointed out that Defendant is "not a person [who has] supported himself as a drug dealer" or who has "ever been successful as a drug dealer," but rather "took advantage of an economic opportunity" presented by a coworker. (Id. at 6.)
In his sentencing memorandum, Defendant also asserted that "[his] family was forced to flee Iraq. He has no family there and there is no society or government which will embrace him or protect him." (Def.'s Sentencing Mem., ROA V.1 at 16.) Defendant contended that "[t]he profound immigration consequences he faces take his [***3] case very far from the heartland of cases anticipated by the . . . Guidelines and warrant a sentence greatly below the recommended sentence." (Id. at 16.)
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588 F.3d 347 *; 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 25597 **; 2009 FED App. 0404P (6th Cir.) ***
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WASEM PETRUS, Defendant-Appellant.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, Rehearing, en banc, denied by United States v. Petrus, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 819 (6th Cir., Jan. 12, 2010)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 07-20361-001--Victoria A. Roberts, District Judge.
sentence, district court, Guidelines, factors, impose sentence, cooperate, reasons, district judge, articulated, immigration status, circumstances, co-conspirators, raises, deportation, calculated, nonfrivolous argument, sentencing hearing, clear explanation, criminal history, sentencing court, sentencing judge, contends
Criminal Law & Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Sentencing, Proportionality & Reasonableness Review, Abuse of Discretion, General Overview, Clear Error Review, De Novo Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Findings of Fact, Sentences, Imposition of Sentence, Factors, Findings, Evidence, Presumptions, Particular Presumptions, Regularity, Departures From Guidelines, Downward Departures, Substantial Assistance