United States v. Ley, No. 16-3793 (3d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Ley pleaded guilty as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). According to the presentence report (PSR), Ley sustained a 2006 conviction for felony aggravated assault in Pennsylvania, which it classified as a “crime of violence” under the career-offender Guideline, USSG 4B1.2(a)(1). The criminal history Guidelines require the cumulative counting of sentences for offenses that are separated by an intervening arrest. Without an intervening arrest, prior sentences are counted as a single sentence if imposed on the same day. Two of Ley’s criminal history points were based on prior convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia, stemming from traffic offenses. After each, the police released Ley and advised him that the case would proceed via summons. Ley pleaded guilty and was sentenced for both offenses on the same day. His total offense level and criminal history category produced a sentencing range of 46-57 months. Ley argued that the drug paraphernalia sentences should be treated as a single sentence because they were imposed on the same day and were separated not by an arrest, but by a traffic stop so that he should have had a range of 36-47 months. Ley was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. The Third Circuit vacated, citing the “plain meaning” of the Guidelines. If the issuance of a summons should be treated as an arrest, "the Commission knows how to do so."