7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: United States of America v. Christopher Ramirez
Case No.: 21-2587
Officials: Ripple, Rovner, and Brennan, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Sentencing Guidelines
Ramirez pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). The district court sentenced him as a career offender under Sentencing Guideline § 4B1.1 because he had prior felony convictions in Wisconsin for possessing with intent to deliver tetrahydrocannabinol and for manufacturing or delivering cocaine. The district court sentenced him to 120 months’ imprisonment and then eight years of supervised release.
Ramirez, on appeal, asks the 7th Circuit to reconsider its holding in United States v. Ruth, 966 F.3d 642, 651–54 (7th Cir. 2020), that an offense need not involve a substance controlled by the Controlled Substances Act, 28 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., to qualify as a predicate “controlled substance offense” for purposes of the career offender enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a). He also argued that the district court failed to consider adequately and meaningfully his primary mitigating sentencing argument. Ramirez did not meet his burden of demonstrating that Ruth should be overruled according to the court, and the district court comprehensively evaluated the record before it and appropriately sentenced him.