United States v. Murray

Murray left a store and joined Robinson, who was arguing with the occupants of a van. The driver opened fire. Murray pulled out a handgun and returned fire. Murray was hit fell to the ground. Robinson picked up Murray’s weapon and shot at the fleeing van. The store clerk came out; she heard Murray tell Robinson to put his gun, drugs, and money in her vehicle. Officers later searched Robinson’s car and found the handgun, $95, and 15.14 grams of PCP. Murray pleaded guilty as a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing, Officer Whetro described smelling PCP when he approached Murray at the scene and explained that 15.14 grams of PCP is not consistent with personal use but constitutes a distributable amount. The court applied a four-level enhancement under 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) for using and possessing the firearm in connection with possession of a distributable amount of PCP. The application notes explain that this is warranted “in the case of a drug trafficking offense in which a firearm is found in close proximity to drugs.” Murray’s 51-month sentence fell at the high end of his guidelines range of 41-51 months. The Eighth Circuit affirmed. When the felony involves drug trafficking rather than simple possession, the guidelines mandate the enhancement “if guns and drugs are in the same location.” View "United States v. Murray" on Justia Law

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