United States v. Foster, No. 17-1703 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After Foster pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), the district court considered him to have three qualifying convictions under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), and imposed the minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. Foster had convictions for dealing in methamphetamine (a serious drug offense under ACCA), and Indiana robbery, an ACCA violent felony. Foster argued that his past conviction for Indiana’s Class B burglary of a dwelling was not a violent felony. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his sentence, finding his argument foreclosed by 2017 circuit precedent. Determining whether burglary under a given state's law is a violent felony presents a categorical question that focuses exclusively on the state crime's elements and not on the facts underlying the conviction. The state crime’s elements must be the same as, or narrower than, the elements of generic burglary as defined by the Supreme Court so that the crime covers no more conduct than the generic offense. Indiana’s Class B felony burglary is committed while armed with a deadly weapon or if the building or structure is a dwelling: Indiana Class B burglary is a violent felony.