United States v. Blackman, No. 15-2003 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Blackman, a “ranking official in Chicago’s Black Disciples street gang,” pleaded guilty to one count of distributing a controlled substance, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1). The district court ordered him to serve a prison term of 180 months. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, upholding the district court’s finding that he was responsible for the uncharged distribution of 3,000 grams of crack cocaine to one of his customers as relevant conduct and its additional finding that he possessed a firearm during his narcotics distribution. The court rejected Blackman’s contention that the district court committed procedural error by failing to address his principal arguments in mitigation: his challenge to the 18:1 crack-to-powder-cocaine ratio adopted by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, 124 Stat. 2372, and now embodied in the Sentencing Guidelines, and his contention that the government engaged in sentencing manipulation.