United States v. Campbell, No. 19-3697 (3d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The defendants each pled guilty to their respective crimes, possession of a firearm by a felon, and wire fraud-identity theft. As part of their plea agreements, each agreed not to argue for a sentence outside the range recommended by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The government contends that both defendants breached their plea agreements by in fact seeking sentences below the guidelines-recommended ranges. One defense attorney stated” “I would hope Your Honor would consider probation, house arrest, community service, anything other than jail time.” In that case, the sentence roughly a third of the time called for by the sentencing range. The other defendant argued that the defendant’s co-conspirator had received a lower sentence.
The Third Circuit vacated the sentences, finding the government’s contentions well-founded. In both cases, defense counsel went beyond presenting facts and advocated for a below-Guidelines sentence. The court rejected one defendant’s argument that evidence discovered during the traffic stop leading to his arrest should have been suppressed because the stop violated the Fourth Amendment; the police officer was justified in stopping his vehicle and did not impermissibly extend the duration of the stop.