United States v. White, No. 21-2296 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
In 2017, White participated in several Indianapolis commercial armed robberies, primarily as a lookout. He also assisted his coconspirators by selecting and staking out the targeted premises and providing supplies, including (at least once) the gun. Eventually, undercover detectives spotted them attempting to rob a Verizon store. White pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery. Based on a sentencing range of 97-121 months, the judge imposed four concurrent 108-month terms of imprisonment.
The Seventh Circuit vacated White’s sentence. The general federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. 371, caps any term of imprisonment at 60 months. The judge must impose a new sentence on one count. Though she may restructure the entire sentence, she is not required to do so. The physical restraint enhancement was properly applied to one robbery conspiracy count. During the bank robbery, one of White’s accomplices wielded a handgun, grabbed a bank manager, and led him to the lobby at gunpoint, which is physical restraint under U.S.S.G. 2B3.1(b)(4)(B). The conduct underlying the second application of the enhancement is not physical restraint; during the robbery of a cellphone store, an accomplice wielded a gun and ordered an employee to move to another area. That error was harmless and did not alter the applicable Guidelines range.