United States v. Galloway

The Facts

The defendant, Galloway, has been involved in an interstate drug ring operating in Georgia, Colorado, New York, and Missouri, and other places. He used a communication facility (cell phone) on three occasions to commit, cause, and facilitate drug distribution in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b). Moreover, the defendant conspired to manufacture and possess 50 or more marijuana plants with intent to distribute, and actually did distribute them in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.

Procedural History

The decision of the initial trial court to sentence defendant for conspiracy was affirmed by appellate court.


In conspiracy includes acts and omissions by two or more persons in furtherance of jointly undertaken criminal activity, if they are reasonably foreseeable. Herewith, the acts of each perpetrator must be part of the common course of conduct or scheme as the offense of conviction [U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.3(a)(1)-(2)].

In order to determine whether delinquent eligible to “minor participant” reduction the court must measure his/her role against his/her relevant conduct for which she has been held accountable under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.3. But it can also be conceded to measure the defendant’s conduct against that of other participants of the scheme as long as there is sufficient record evidence to that regard.

According to 18 U.S.C.S. § 3553 account for following factors to impose sentencing: (1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant; (2) the need to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense; (3) the need for deterrence; (4) the need to protect the public; (5) the need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training or medical care; (6) the kinds of sentences available; (7) the Sentencing Guidelines range; (8) pertinent policy statements of the Sentencing Commission; (9) the need to avoid unwanted sentencing disparities; and (10) the need to provide restitution to victims.

The Issue

Whether the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia erred in denying defendant a minor-role reduction under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3B1.2 by convicting him of conspiracy to manufacture, to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute marijuana under 21 U.S.C.S. § 846 stemming from his involvement in an interstate drug ring.

The Holding/Reasoning

The US Court of Appeals stated that defendant’s claim to award him a minor role reduction is not reasonably grounded. Regardless of the fact that co-conspirators had broader involvement the inquiry was properly focused on defendant’s own behavior. His claim was rebutted by the Court by upholding initial judgment where defendant’s actions were compared to the conduct of codefendants. The appellate court also admitted that “the district court’s failure to make a specific comparison was not error, and defendant was not entitled to a role reduction simply on account of a coconspirator’s greater role in the broader criminal scheme”.

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