United States v. Sincleair, No. 20-10495 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Officers executing a search warrant at Wood’s residence found Sincleair, Wood, Ilczyszyn, and Markezinis, and Blackman sitting on a couch smoking methamphetamine. The officers discovered less than two ounces of methamphetamine in Wood’s residence; they found a firearm on a table near the couch but did not determine who owned it.
Sincleair pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, without a plea agreement. The PSR held Sincleair accountable for conspiring with Kuhn and Wilbur to possess with intent to distribute 26,166.3 kilograms of methamphetamine and GHB. He was not held accountable for the methamphetamine seized from Wood’s residence because it could have been “double counting" what he received from Kuhn. The PSR recommended a two-level firearm possession enhancement, U.S.S.G. 2D1.1(b)(1). Sincleair objected, arguing that his presence at Wood’s house was not related to the drug conspiracy to which he pleaded guilty--he was at Wood’s home to engage in drug use, not drug trafficking. The firearm was confirmed to be owned by and registered to Wood. A PSR addendum explained that the enhancement was appropriate because Sincleair was Ilczyszyn’s source of supply and was present for the drug transaction between Ilczyszyn and Wood.
The district court adopted the PSR and sentenced Sincleair to 210 months' imprisonment. The Fifth Circuit vacated. If, on remand, the district court applies the firearm enhancement, “it should make the appropriate findings and state plainly the basis for its decision.”