Unpublished Disposition, 912 F.2d 470 (9th Cir. 1989)Annotate this Case
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,v.Dan Joseph MILLER, Defendant-Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Aug. 8, 1990.* Decided Aug. 23, 1990.
Before POOLE, KOZINSKI and DAVID R. THOMPSON, Circuit Judges.
Miller was convicted of distributing a controlled substance and appeals his sentence. The district court found that Miller was a "minor" participant in the crime and reduced his offense level by two points. See Sentencing Guidelines, Sec. 3B1.2. Miller asserts that the district court erred by not finding that he was only a "minimal" participant in the crime and reducing his offense level by two additional points.
The Sentencing Commission "intended that the downward adjustment for a minimal participant will be used infrequently." United States Sentencing Commission, Guidelines Manual, Sec. 3B1.2, application note 2. It may be used, for example, in the case of someone whose only involvement in the crime is to offload a single shipment of drugs in a very large smuggling operation, or who acts as a courier for a single smuggling transaction involving a small quantity of drugs. Id. Miller admittedly served as an intermediary in a drug transaction involving two pounds of methamphetamine by introducing the buyer and seller. He was also present at the parking lot where the negotiations took place, standing outside a truck in what the district court characterized as "a lookout situation." Transcript of Sentencing, October 10, 1989, at 14. His level of participation went beyond that which the Commission would consider minimal. See Guidelines Manual, Sec. 3B1.2, application note 1 (" [T]he defendant's lack of knowledge or understanding of the scope and structure of the enterprise and of the activities of others is indicative of a role as minimal participant.").
The district court's finding that defendant was a "minor" participant rather than merely a "minimal" participant was not clearly erroneous. United States v. Sanchez-Lopez, 879 F.2d 541, 557 (9th Cir. 1989).