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United States v. Riley

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 9, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
DAMIEN RILEY, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: March 21, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. William D. Quarles, Jr., District Judge. (1:13-cr-00608-WDQ-1)

         ARGUED:

          Julie Marie Reamy, JULIE M. REAMY, ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant.

          David Daniel Metcalf, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

          Before WILKINSON, DIAZ, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.

         Affirmed by published opinion. Judge Wilkinson wrote the opinion, in which Judge Diaz and Judge Floyd joined.

          WILKINSON, Circuit Judge

         Damien Riley challenges his designation as a career offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, arguing that his prior conviction for Maryland robbery with a dangerous weapon does not qualify as a predicate "crime of violence." We conclude that this offense was a crime of violence under the residual clause of the career offender guideline in effect when Riley was sentenced.

         I.

         Riley was convicted of four counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The presentence report (PSR) designated Riley as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 based on his previous felony convictions under Maryland law for robbery with a dangerous weapon and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. The designation elevated his guidelines range from 21-27 months of imprisonment to 210-262 months. Riley did not object to his classification as a career offender in the PSR.

         At the sentencing hearing, Riley's counsel stated that "there is no dispute whatsoever that he is a career offender" and instead argued that the designation was "over-representative of his criminal history." J.A. 22. Accordingly, Riley sought a downward departure for his criminal history and a downward variance on his overall sentence. The district court adopted the PSR and sentenced Riley to 210 months imprisonment. Riley now appeals his ...


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