United States v. Fugate, No. 19-6163 (6th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Fugate sold stolen firearms and other property that he acquired from co-defendants conducting thefts from automobiles across Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Authorities recovered 25 firearms from Fugate’s residence. Fugate’s wife turned over an additional seven firearms. Fugate admitted that he sold firearms to drug traffickers and gang members and that he knew that some of the firearms were stolen. Fugate pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), The government dropped a charge of receipt, possession, or trafficking of firearms and ammunition, “knowing and having reasonable cause to believe the firearms and ammunition were stolen.” Fugate had a prior conviction for felony possession of firearms by an unlawful user of controlled substances. The court applied a six-level sentencing enhancement because the offense involved at least 25 firearms; a two-level enhancement because some firearms were stolen; a four-level enhancement because Fugate engaged in the trafficking of firearms; and a four-level enhancement because Fugate possessed or trafficked the firearms “in connection with another felony offense.” The calculated Guidelines range was 78-97 months’ imprisonment. The court sentenced him to 97 months’ imprisonment. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded the sentence. Applying an enhancement for possessing or trafficking firearms in connection with another felony—knowingly trafficking stolen firearms was impermissible double-counting under the Sentencing Guidelines.