United States v. Baker, No. 16-3325 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Baker pled guilty to participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy. Baker had a criminal history category of IV; the plea agreement stipulated that 100-200 grams of cocaine be attributed to Baker and that his total offense level be set at 12, resulting in an agreed Guidelines range of 21-27 months’ imprisonment. The government explained that it could not prove an amount in excess of 172 grams of cocaine attributable to Baker, but the court was unconvinced and reviewed Baker’s confidential proffer statement, developed after Baker agreed to provide information about the conspiracy. The court found Baker responsible for 500 grams to two kilograms of cocaine, significantly increasing Baker’s offense level. The court acknowledged that it could not use information found only in Baker’s confidential proffer statement to determine the applicable Guidelines range, but based its finding on a post-arrest recorded phone call in which Baker stated that officers missed “twelve-five” when they searched his home; a codefendant’s proffer statement that Baker was given a “large” amount of cocaine; and a codefendant’s proffer that discussed drug transactions but did not specify any amount. The court determined that the appropriate range was 51-63 months’ imprisonment and sentenced Baker to 50 months. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, acknowledging that the court’s methodology “raises concerns,” but finding the sentence neither procedurally nor substantively unreasonable.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on July 12, 2017.