United States v. Yusuf, No. 19-3472 (3d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In consolidated appeals, the government challenged the sentences given to Campbell, one year plus one day for possession of guns and ammunition as a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), and Yusuf, 30 months for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1349, and aggravated identity theft, section 1028A(a)(1). Each pled guilty and agreed not to argue for a sentence outside the range recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines. The government contends that both defendants breached their plea agreements by actually seeking sentences below the guidelines-recommended ranges.
The Third Circuit vacated the sentences. Although courts must give both defense counsel and the defendant an opportunity to speak before imposing a sentence, Rule 32(i) does not give defendants license to disavow their obligations under a plea agreement. The defendants affirmatively advocated for sentences below the agreed-upon guidelines range. The court also rejected Campbell's claim that evidence discovered during the traffic stop leading to his arrest should have been suppressed under the Fourth Amendment; the police officer involved was justified in stopping Campbell’s vehicle and did not impermissibly extend the duration of the stop.