United States v. Eric Northern, No. 08-1323 (8th Cir. 2009)

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Court Description: Criminal case - Sentencing. Defendant's Missouri convictions for first- and second-degree burglary were violent felonies for purposes of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 924(e); sentence was not unreasonable.
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United States Court of Appeals FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT ___________ No. 08-1323 ___________ United States of America, Appellee, v. Eric W. Northern, Appellant. * * * * Appeal from the United States * District Court for the * Eastern District of Missouri. * * [UNPUBLISHED] * ___________ Submitted: July 7, 2009 Filed: July 30, 2009 ___________ Before WOLLMAN, MURPHY, and MELLOY, Circuit Judges. ___________ PER CURIAM. Eric Northern appeals the 180-month prison sentence the district court1 imposed after he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(e). His counsel has filed a brief under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), seeking to withdraw and questioning (1) whether the district court erred in considering Northern s prior burglary convictions to be violent felonies, and (2) whether the sentence was reasonable. 1 The Honorable E. Richard Webber, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri. We reject these challenges. The prior Missouri convictions for first- and second-degree burglary constituted violent felonies for purposes of section 924(e), see 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) (defining violent felony in relevant part as burglary ); Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 569.160, 569.170 (defining first- and second-degree burglary as knowing unlawful entry into building for purpose of committing crime therein); Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575, 598, 602 (1990); and Northern has failed to show that his sentence--which was the statutory minimum and was 8 months below the applicable Guidelines range--is unreasonable, see United States v. Wadena, 470 F.3d 735, 737 (8th Cir. 2006); United States v. Gregg, 451 F.3d 930, 937 (8th Cir. 2006) (rejecting argument that district court has discretion to determine whether ultimate sentence is reasonable and impose non-Guidelines sentence even when portion of sentence is result of mandatory minimum sentence; Booker [FN United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).] does not relate to statutorily-imposed sentences ); United States v. Chacon, 330 F.3d 1065, 1066 (8th Cir. 2003) (only authority for district court to depart from statutory minimum sentence is found in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e) and (f), which apply only when government makes motion for substantial assistance or defendant qualifies for safety-valve relief). After reviewing the record independently under Penson v. Ohio, 488 U.S. 75, 80 (1988), we find no nonfrivolous issues. Accordingly, we affirm, and we grant counsel s motion to withdraw on the condition that counsel inform appellant about the procedures for filing petitions for rehearing and for certiorari. ______________________________ -2-