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Sentencing Guidelines


Sentencing Guidelines


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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Sandra Kellogg

Case No.: 22-2124

Officials: Sykes, Chief Judge, and Ripple and St. Eve, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

Christopher Tate and Sandra Kellogg faced charges related to conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs and other drug-related offenses. They were jointly tried, and both were convicted on all counts. The district court handed down significant prison sentences, although they fell below the recommended guidelines. On appeal, both defendants contested the adequacy of evidence concerning one of their conviction counts and challenged the enhancements used to calculate their sentencing ranges under the guidelines.

The court upheld the convictions and sentences of both defendants. It determined that the jury could reasonably conclude that Tate had at least joint possession of the methamphetamine discovered in his vehicle. Additionally, despite Kellogg’s argument that she was not involved in the broader conspiracy, she failed to demonstrate prejudice resulting from any discrepancy between the larger conspiracy alleged in the indictment and the narrower conspiracy proven at trial.

Moreover, the court affirmed the sentencing enhancements imposed by the district court. It found sufficient evidence to support a 2-level enhancement for firearm possession against Tate, and any potential error in its application was deemed inconsequential. Similarly, Kellogg’s challenge to the 3-level enhancement for her managerial or supervisory role in criminal activities was dismissed. Despite her assertion that she did not hold such a position and that the criminal activity did not involve five or more participants, the court found ample evidence supporting the district court’s findings.


Decided 04/03/24

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