PEOPLE OF MI V DANNY MIKE DANIELAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
November 20, 1998
Oakland Circuit Court
LC No. 97-150521 FH
DANNY MIKE DANIEL,
Before: Holbrook, Jr., P.J., and Markey and Whitbeck, JJ.
Following a two-day jury trial, defendant was convicted of three counts of delivery of less than
50 grams of cocaine, MCL 333.7401(2)(a)(iv); MSA 14.15(7401)(2)(a)(iv), and one count of delivery
more than 50 but less than 225 grams of cocaine, MCL 333.7401(2)(a)(iii); MSA
14.15(7401)(2)(a)(iii). Defendant was sentenced to serve identical consecutive terms of one to twenty
years in prison on each delivery of less than 50 grams of cocaine conviction. As for defendant’s
conviction of delivery of more than 50 but less than 225 grams of cocaine, finding that substantial and
compelling reasons existed to depart from the statutorily mandated ten-year minimum sentence, the trial
court sentenced defendant to five to twenty years’ imprisonment. This sentence is to be served
consecutive to the other sentences imposed. The prosecution appeals as of right. We affirm.
Defendant’s convictions arise out of a series of four cocaine transactions conducted between
defendant and an undercover officer assigned to the Michigan State Police Narcotics Enforcement
Team. Each of the four transactions was initiated when the officer contacted defendant by means of an
electronic pager. When defendant responded to the page, the officer would request to purchase a
specified amount of cocaine. The two would then meet at a local liquor store, where defendant would
deliver the cocaine in return for an agreed upon cash payment.
The prosecution’s sole argument on appeal is that the trial court erred when it failed to impose
the ten year minimum sentence prescribed by the Legislature for the offense of delivery of more than 50
but less than 225 grams of cocaine. MCL 333.7401(2)(a)(iii); MSA 14.15(7401)(2)(a)(iii). We
disagree. A trial court may depart from imposing the mandated minimum sentence for this offense “if
the court finds on the record that there are substantial and compelling reasons to do so.” MCL
333.7401(4); MSA 14.15(7401)(4) When determining whether substantial and compelling reasons
exist to justify downward departure, “a sentencing court must articulate on the record ‘objective and
verifiable factors’ that provide ‘substantial’ and ‘compelling’ bases to depart from the mandatory
minimum prescribed by the statute.” People v Johnson (On Remand), 223 Mich App 170, 173; 566
NW2d 28 (1997). Factors which may be considered include: “(1) whether there are mitigating
circumstances surrounding the offense, (2) whether the defendant has a prior record, (3) the defendant’s
age, (4) the defendant’s work history, and (5) factors that arise after the defendant’s arrest, such as the
defendant’s cooperation with law enforcement officials.” Id. Accord People v Fields, 448 Mich 58,
76-77; 528 NW2d 176 (1995).
When reviewing a sentencing court’s decision to depart from the mandatory minimum sentence,
“[t]he determination regarding the existence . . . of a particular factor is reviewed on appeal under the
clearly erroneous standard.” People v Perry, 216 Mich App 277, 280; 549 NW2d 42 (1996). A
trial court’s “determination that a particular factor is objective and verifiable [is] . . . reviewed . . . . as a
matter of law. A trial court’s determination that the objective and verifiable factors present . . .
constitute substantial and compelling reasons to depart from the statutory minimum sentence [is] . . .
reviewed for abuse of discretion.” Fields, supra at 77-78.
After reviewing the lower court record, we can find no clear error in the trial court’s
determination that substantial and compelling factors existed to support a departure for the statutory
minimum sentence. We conclude also that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined
that those properly identified factors “constitute substantial and compelling reasons to depart from the
statutory minimum sentence.” Fields, supra at 78. Further, we do not believe that the sentence
imposed is disproportionately lenient. Perry, supra at 280; People v Catanzarite, 211 Mich App
573, 585; 536 NW2d 570 (1995).
/s/ Donald E. Holbrook, Jr.
/s/ Jane E. Markey