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7th Circuit finds meth dealer was acting like a merchant, not a manager

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Although an Indiana man determined how much and how often his buyers received methamphetamine as well as pressured them to sell, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded his sentence should not have been enhanced because his actions were not coercive.

Jeffrey Weaver pled guilty to conspiring with two buyers to possess and distribute methamphetamine. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana found that the way Weaver fronted his drugs merited him receiving a 3-level manager/supervisor enhancement on his sentence. Weaver was then sentenced to 235 months imprisonment, the bottom of the range calculated by the court.

In USA v. Jeffrey Weaver, 12-3324, Weaver appealed, arguing there was no evidence that he managed or supervised his buyers. The Circuit Court agreed, vacating the sentence and remanding for resentencing.

The 7th Circuit found that the U.S.S.G. 3B1.1 enhancement requires an exercise of control and authority. A key indicator of control that is suggestive of managerial responsibility is the ability to coerce the underlings.

Describing Weaver as providing insufficient ongoing supervision and coercive authority, the court said he simply fronted methamphetamine to his buyers. In fact, the court found Weaver was like any other business that extends credit to customers. He encouraged behavior that would protect his investment and insure payment of the debt owed to him.

The Circuit Court noted Weaver did not tell his buyers what price they had to charge, impose territorial limits on their sales or set distribution quotas. Moreover, if the buyers did not sell the drugs, they remained indebted to Weaver at $1,700 per ounce.

Weaver pushed his wares aggressively and demanded prompt payment, the court said, but his interest in a quick turnaround does not make his buyers his underlings.

“Weaver simply ‘instructed them to promptly sell’ the methamphetamine ‘so he could distribute more to them,’” Judge Joel Flaum wrote for the court. “Trying to sell more while getting paid is what merchants – not necessarily managers and supervisors – do.”


 

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  2. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  3. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

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  5. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.

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