United States v. Moody, No. 18-1837 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Within two days of helping his co-defendants steal more than 100 guns from a train car in 2015, Moody sold 13 of them to anonymous buyers who telephoned him after they “heard about it.” He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1); possessing a stolen firearm, section 922(j); and cargo theft, section 659, for which he was sentenced to 93 months’ imprisonment. Moody challenged a four-level guideline enhancement under U.S.S.G. 2K2.1(b)(5) for trafficking firearms to people he knew (or had reason to know) were unlawful users or possessors. The court stated that Moody sold his share of stolen guns “literally to anyone who called expressing an interest” and presumed that at least several of these people would use them in future crimes. The Seventh Circuit vacated the sentence, finding that the district court plainly erred by imposing the enhancement. Nothing in the record suggests that Moody had reason to believe that his buyers were unlawful gun users or possessors; the court plainly crossed the line that separates permissible common-sense inference from impermissible speculation.