7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: United States of America v. Fernelly Llanos
Case No.: 21-2751
Officials: Wood, Jackson-Akiwumi, and Lee, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Sentencing Guidelines
The court needs to unravel the complications that ensued as a result of Llanos’s repeated episodes of heroin dealing. First, in case 07 CR 473 (the 2007 case, before Judge Coar), Llanos was convicted for possessing heroin with intent to distribute it between March and July 2007. While he was serving his sentence in that matter, he was indicted on charges of dealing heroin between 2006 and April 2007, in case 09 CR 373 (the 2009 case, before Judge Guzmán). He pleaded guilty to those charges and received a sentence concurrent to the one imposed in the 2007 case. Finally, while he was on supervised release for the 2009 case, he again was caught distributing heroin, this time in September 2015. Charges and a guilty plea followed in case 17 CR 509 (the 2017 case, before Judge Wood). Two consequences flowed from the 2017 case: first, Judge Wood sentenced him to 120 months’ imprisonment; and second, Judge Guzmán revoked his supervised release for the 2009 case and imposed a new term of 30 months in prison, to be served consecutively to the 120-month term in the 2017 case. Llanos appealed the sentence he received when his supervised release in the 2009 case was revoked. The Seventh Circuit rejected the argument that the government should not have brought the 2007 and 2009 charges as separately, because they involved the same conduct and the same conspiracy, and by doing so the prosecutor artificially inflated Llanos’s criminal history for purposes of future Guidelines calculations.