USA v. Darren Little


Per Curiam OPINION filed : Little's sentence of 173 months imprisonment is AFFIRMED. Decision not for publication pursuant to local rule 206. Richard F. Suhrheinrich, Circuit Judge; Julia Smith Gibbons, Circuit Judge and David W. McKeague, Circuit Judge.

Download PDF
Case: 10-5463 Document: 006111180109 Filed: 01/10/2012 Page: 1 NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION File Name: 12a0036n.06 FILED No. 10-5463 Jan 10, 2012 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DARREN LITTLE, Defendant-Appellant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) LEONARD GREEN, Clerk ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY BEFORE: SUHRHEINRICH, GIBBONS, and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM. Darren Little, a federal prisoner, appeals the sentence imposed following his 2009 guilty plea to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The offense of conviction had a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months and a maximum of life imprisonment. The presentence report calculated the guidelines sentencing range at 151 to 188 months. The district court found that Little was entitled to a 67-month downward departure for a state prison sentence he served based on relevant conduct, pursuant to USSG § 5K2.23. This effectively lowered the guidelines range to 120 to 121 months. However, the district court determined that an upward variance to 240 months was appropriate. After giving Little credit for the 67 months spent in state custody, the district court judge sentenced Little to 173 months of imprisonment. On appeal, Little argues that the sentence was substantively unreasonable in that it gave unreasonable weight to his criminal history. Case: 10-5463 Document: 006111180109 Filed: 01/10/2012 Page: 2 No. 10-5463 United States v. Little We review a sentence for reasonableness under an abuse-of-discretion standard. United States v. Carter, 510 F.3d 593, 600 (6th Cir. 2007). Review of the sentencing transcripts reveals that the district court considered the relevant sentencing factors in arriving at the sentence in this case. It noted that Little had been sentenced to ten years of imprisonment in a state court proceeding for distributing cocaine, had been paroled four times and had been reincarcerated because he continued to distribute cocaine. Therefore, the court concluded that a sentence greater than ten years was required to deter Little’s drug trafficking. It also noted that Little’s criminal history, in addition to his drug convictions, included domestic violence and driving under the influence. Therefore, there was a need to protect the public from Little’s drug trafficking, domestic violence, and impaired driving. The district court also considered the serious nature of the offense, Little’s need for treatment and other programs available during his incarceration, and the need to teach Little respect for the law. We give considerable deference to sentencing decisions due to trial judges’ experience in sentencing. United States v. Poynter, 495 F.3d 349, 351-52 (6th Cir. 2007). We do not determine whether the district court could have given a lower sentence, but whether it must have done so. See United States v. Smith, 516 F.3d 473, 478 (6th Cir. 2008). Here, Little has demonstrated no abuse of discretion by the sentencing judge. Accordingly, Little’s sentence of 173 months imprisonment is affirmed. -2-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?