United States v. Solomon, No. 13-3108 (3d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Solomon became the police chief of East Washington, Pennsylvania, after a decade as a part-time officer. He earned $36,100 a year and was not allowed to moonlight. Solomon's behavior while going through a divorce attracted the attention of authorities, who used a confidential informant. After providing security for two staged drug deals, Solomon accepted cash, and paid the CI. He sold law enforcement-restricted Tasers for use to collect drug debts. Solomon pled guilty to extortion under color of official right, Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. 1951. The U.S. Probation Office’s Presentence Investigation Report deducted three levels for acceptance of responsibility. He had no prior criminal history; his initial Guidelines range was 30 to 37 months’ imprisonment, but U.S.S.G. 2C1.1 includes a cross-reference: If the offense was committed for the purpose of facilitating the commission of another criminal offense, apply the guideline applicable to a conspiracy to commit that other offense, if greater than that determined above. Under the Guideline for conspiracy to commit cocaine trafficking, involving a large quantity of (fake) cocaine, with a 2-level enhancement for possession of a dangerous weapon, the range was 108 to 135 months. The prosecution also sought a 2-level enhancement for abuse of a position of trust. The court ultimately sentenced Solomon to 135 months, the bottom of his final range. The Third Circuit affirmed application of the cross-reference but reversed application of the abuse of trust enhancement and remanded.