United States v. Graham, No. 18-2156 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Graham had worked at a Milwaukee Aldi for six years before being fired, for stealing, months before the first robbery. Graham used his knowledge of store procedures and that Aldi trains employees to acquiesce to robbers. Graham would enter a store minutes before closing, hide until it closed, then approach employees with his gun drawn. After his sixth robbery, Graham was arrested and pleaded guilty to six counts of Hobbs Act robbery, 18 U.S.C. 1951(a), and using a firearm during a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(ii). The court calculated a Guidelines range of 78-97 months for each robbery, followed by a mandatory consecutive sentence of 84 months for the firearm conviction. Graham argued that for 30 years, he had worked two full-time jobs to support his girlfriend and six children, living a crime-free life until the financial pressures of six children, one with serious medical issues, drove him to use drugs, steal food, and, finally, rob his former employer. The court noted that Graham’s criminal conduct was well-planned and executed and that there was “too much” criminal conduct to justify the sentence Graham requested. The court considered “uniformity, proportionality, certainty, and cost,” and imposed concurrent sentences of 60 months’ imprisonment for each robbery, followed by the mandatory consecutive 84-month sentence.. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding no procedural error in the imposition of the below-Guidelines sentence.