United States v. Ford, No. 19-3486 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In August 2018, Ford, Johnson, and Foster committed several Milwaukee armed robberies, in different combinations. On August 22, Johnson provided a handgun; Foster and Ford assaulted a taxi driver, then fled with Johnson, to split the proceeds. On August 23, officers located the getaway car near a Petro Mart where Johnson and Foster had committed an armed robbery that morning. The car contained driver’s licenses of three taxi driver victims; a pair of flip-flops consistent with those worn by Foster during the Petro Mart robbery; and identification cards and a prescription belonging to Johnson.
On August 25, surveillance cameras recorded Johnson and Ford entering a B.P. station., Johnson approached the cashier, who stood behind ballistic-proof glass, pointed the handgun, and demanded cash. The cashier refused. Ford had exited the store. The cashier activated the door lock. Ford, unable to re-enter, fled. Johnson eventually escaped by another exit. Johnson was arrested after a high-speed chase. Officers recovered a loaded handgun from her pocket, with distinctive characteristics matching those of the handgun seen in surveillance camera recordings featuring the three. Ford pleaded guilty to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, 18 U.S.C. 1951(a) and one count of brandishing a firearm to further a crime of violence, section 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) for the attempted armed robbery of the B.P.
The court sentenced Ford to 114 months' imprisonment: 30 months (a 35 percent downward departure from the guideline range) for the Hobbs Act counts, and a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of 84 months for brandishing a firearm to further a crime of violence. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The district court did not err by inferring that Ford was accountable for Johnson’s use of the firearm and imposing a six-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. 2B3.1(b)(2)(B).