United States v. Mejia, No. 16-3649 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Mejia pled guilty as a felon in possession of a firearm without a plea agreement. He did not admit any factual allegations beyond the essential elements of the 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) charge. He declined to discuss the offense with the probation officer. Without Mejia's version of the offense, the probation officer used police reports to put together an account of the bar fight, during which Mejia pulled out a knife. Four men were involved when shots were fired, striking a building and a vehicle. Mejia hid the gun but claimed he had not fired the shots. The judge rejected the probation officer’s recommendation to add four offense levels on the theory that Mejia had “used or possessed” a gun “in connection with another felony offense” or else had “possessed or transferred” the weapon with “knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense,” U.S.S.G. 2K2.1(b)(6)(B). Without the adjustment, Mejia’s guidelines range was 51-63 months in prison. The Seventh Circuit affirmed a sentence of 93 months. Given the facts about the incident that could be found with confidence, plus Mejia’s lengthy criminal history, the judge adequately explained that no matter who fired the shots, an above-guideline sentence was appropriate.