US v. Joseph Bassett, No. 12-4611 (4th Cir. 2013)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 12-4611 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JOSEPH BASSETT, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. William D. Quarles, Jr., District Judge. (1:11-cr-00512-WDQ-1) Submitted: March 27, 2013 Decided: April 4, 2013 Before NIEMEYER, FLOYD, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. James Wyda, Federal Public Defender, Julie L.B. Johnson, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Antonio J. Reynolds, Assistant United States Attorney, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Joseph Bassett pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted criminal to felon the and mandatory was sentenced minimum as sentence an of armed career fifteen years prescribed by 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(e) (West 2000 & Supp. 2012). Bassett appeals his sentence, arguing that imposition of the fifteen-year sentences sentence conflict was with error the because mandate in mandatory 18 U.S.C. minimum § 3553(a) (2006) to impose a sentence sufficient but not greater than necessary. He further contends that a fifteen-year sentence is greater than necessary in his case to achieve the sentencing goals of § 3553(a). We affirm. The Sentencing Reform Act, of which § 3553(a) is part, dictates that a defendant should be sentenced in accordance with its provisions to achieve the purposes of § 3553(a)(2) [e]xcept as otherwise (2006). specifically provided. 18 U.S.C. § 3551(a) Courts have generally held that statutorily-mandated minimum sentences are otherwise specifically provided and thus do not conflict with § 3553(a) s sufficient but not greater than necessary clause. See United States v. Sutton, 625 F.3d 526, 529 (8th Cir. 2010); United States v. Kellum, 356 F.3d 285, 289 (3d sentences Cir. [the 2004) ( [T]he defendant] was [statutory] exposed to mandatory . . . minimum clearly fit within the except as otherwise specifically provided exclusion 2 of § 3551(a). ). Courts have uniformly rejected the claim that § 3553(a) s no greater than necessary language authorizes a district court to sentence below the statutory minimum. United States v. Cirilo-Muñoz, 582 F.3d 54, 55 (1st Cir. 2009) (per curiam) (collecting cases); see also United States v. Franklin, 499 F.3d 578, 585 (6th Cir. 2007) do not States apply v. congressionally Roberson, (acknowledging mandated to 474 tension sentences, F.3d between but ( [Section] 3553(a) factors mandated 432, § holding sentences ); 436 3553(a) that § (7th and 3553(a) United Cir. 2007) statutorilyis a very general statute [that] cannot be understood to authorize courts to sentence Congress. ). below minimums specifically prescribed by In United States v. Robinson, 404 F.3d 850 (4th Cir. 2005), we held that, even after United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), except in limited circumstances not present here, a district court still may not depart below a statutory minimum. Id. at 862. Bassett s reliance on United States v. Raby, 575 F.3d 376 (4th Cir. 2009), is misplaced, as that case provides no guidance on sentencing below a mandatory minimum. We therefore affirm the district court s judgment. dispense with oral argument because the facts and We legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 3