United States v. Barker, No. 22-2131 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
At his Broadway home, Barker sold a confidential informant 109.8 grams of methamphetamine; a month later, Barker sold the CI another 106.4 grams. Barker’s primary residence was on Havens. Officers obtained search warrants for both residences to be executed on November 30. Barker flew to California that morning. His friend, Carr, and Carr’s children were staying at the Broadway residence. At 4:03 p.m., officers monitoring Havens stopped Barker’s SUV but found his wife inside; she called Barker, 4:11-4:14 p.m. Officers recorded Barker’s voice asking about a search warrant., Barker contacted Carr at 4:15. Officers watching the Broadway residence saw Carr exit the home with a trash bag, go next door, and return without the bag. Officers recovered a trash bag containing three firearms and 464 grams of methamphetamine. Carr stated that the bag belonged to Barker, who had instructed him to move it.
Barker pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. 841(a). His PSR indicated an initial guidelines range between 151-188 months. The government then informed the probation office about Carr’s statements. An amended PSR more than tripled Barker’s drug quantity and recommended sentencing enhancements for possessing firearms in connection with drug trafficking; maintaining premises for the purpose of distributing a controlled substance; and obstruction of justice. His new guidelines range was 360 months to life imprisonment. The district court acknowledged that Carr was “not necessarily” a person who would tell the truth but observed several corroborating facts and imposed an underguidelines sentence of 300 months The Seventh Circuit affirmed.