Stacy Lisenbery pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. The district court
Lisenbery was arrested after attempting to pick up a package containing methamphetamine from a parcel sorting facility in Springdale, Arkansas. He was originally charged in two counts: conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
Lisenbery challenges the substantive reasonableness of his sentence, which we review "under a deferential abuse-of-discretion" standard.
Lisenbery argues that the district court erred when it discussed information contained in two paragraphs of the presentence report. First, according to paragraph 12 of the report, a man showed up at the parcel sorting facility on February 13, 2015, falsely claiming to be a drug enforcement agent and telling the manager of the facility that a package containing illegal drugs would likely arrive the following day. Although the man was never identified, the district court initially inferred that the man was Lisenbery.
Second, paragraph 60 of the report described an arrest for battery with a firearm. The district court referenced the alleged facts underlying the charge, and defense counsel objected. Counsel pointed out that Lisenbery had filed a written objection to this paragraph expressly denying the conduct alleged, and that the charge was ultimately not prosecuted. In
After careful review, we discern no abuse of discretion in the district court's discussion of paragraphs 12 and 60. Defense counsel timely objected when the district court discussed the information in these paragraphs, alerting the court to Lisenbery's written objections. On appeal, Lisenbery acknowledges that the district court "stated it did not consider these facts in imposing sentence." Lisenbery's reason for not taking the district court at its word — that the "elaborate discussion" of the disputed allegations "indicates that it did [take these facts into consideration]" — is unavailing and counter to the record before us.
Lisenbery next argues the district court committed a clear error of judgment in weighing the relevant factors when it imposed the sentence. Lisenbery asserts the district court failed to give sufficient weight to the facts that he cooperated early on in the investigation, providing law enforcement with information about his drug trafficking they may not otherwise have obtained, and that he himself had been addicted to methamphetamine from a young age. Lisenbery also argues that the district court's errors in judgment resulted in a sentence that created an unwarranted sentencing disparity among similarly situated defendants.
The district court gave careful consideration to the mitigating factors in this case. The court recognized Lisenbery had "an extensive problem with addiction to drugs," but explained that it believed even a "very powerful addiction" did not justify drug trafficking on the scale present in this case. The court also examined the extent of Lisenbery's cooperation, noting that upon arrest he "essentially gave a complete confession," which included not only the methamphetamine Lisenbery attempted to pick up at the parcel sorting facility, but also significant quantities of methamphetamine that had been shipped to him over the past year. The court gave Lisenbery significant credit for accepting responsibility "before he lawyered up," and for going "above and beyond" to assist law enforcement despite the potential risk to his own safety.
Lisenbery also argues that his sentence creates an unwarranted disparity among similarly situated defendants because it is not clear that the district court took into account the 5-level reduction in his offense level for substantial assistance. But the court did consider Lisenbery's cooperation when assessing this factor, and determined that the drug quantities he was responsible for were still "at the top." Lisenbery offers no other argument to support the assertion that his sentence creates an unwarranted disparity in relation to any other similarly situated defendant, and we find no error.
The court weighed the mitigating considerations against the aggravating factors in this case: the "incredibly large quantity
We affirm the judgment of the district court.