United States v. Redden, No. 17-1405 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), Redden was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment. He appealed, but the Seventh Circuit granted his appointed lawyer's “Anders” motion to withdraw and dismissed the appeal as frivolous. The district court treated Redden as a career offender under U.S.S.G. 4B1.1. Redden argued that his conviction for delivery of a controlled substance, 720 ILCS 570/401, should not have been classified as a “controlled substance offense” because the elements of that Illinois crime differ from the definition in section 4B1.2(b): A “controlled substance offense” is an offense under federal or state law, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense. Illinois, unlike the state laws at issue in precedent cited by Redden, does not make it a crime to offer a controlled substance. The definition that underlies the Illinois offense indicates that "delivery” means an “actual, constructive or attempted transfer.” Conduct meeting the state’s definition of “delivery” comes within section 4B1.2(b) because “transfer” is another word for distribute or dispense.