United States v. Furlow, No. 18-4531 (4th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon. The court held that defendant's prior conviction for distribution of crack cocaine in South Carolina was divisible and subject to the modified categorical approach, and the state offense elements aligned with the federal definitions. Therefore, the district court did not err in ruling that the distribution of crack cocaine conviction constitutes a predicate for the armed career criminal and career offender enhancements.
The court also held that defendant's prior Georgia conviction for first-degree arson was a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act and a "crime of violence" under the Guidelines. Accordingly, defendant had the requisite predicate offenses to be sentenced as an armed career criminal under the ACCA.