U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

US v. Ruvalcaba, 09-3782

Career offender enhancement affirmed in drug conviction

US v. Ruvalcaba, 09-3782, concerned a challenge to the district court's reliance on a prior state conviction to apply the career offender enhancement in calculating defendant's advisory Guidelines sentencing range, in defendant's conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.


In affirming, the court held that, because Ohio has not declared defendant's prior convictions void, the district court did not err by considering them.  The court also held that defendant was properly sentenced as a career offender, because a violation of Ohio's unlawful discharge of a firearm statute is analogous to the enumerated crimes and is a crime of violence under the Guidelines.  Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to depart downward below the Guidelines advisory range and defendant has not overcome the presumption that his sentence at the lower bound of his Guidelines range is reasonable.

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