U.S. v. Long Phi Pham, No. 17-5096 (COLE, Rogers, Griffin).
The defendant appealed his sentence, arguing that he should not be considered an Armed Career Criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) because two of the three predicate offenses were in furtherance of a conspiracy for which he was convicted. Therefore, only the one remaining conviction and the conspiracy conviction should have been properly considered as qualifying offenses. To be considered an ACC, the Government must prove that the defendant has three prior qualifying convictions.
The Sixth Circuit affirmed the sentence, finding that the district court had properly found that the three predicate offenses were committed on different occasions. The Court noted that offenses that are part of a series are considered distinct in time under the Armed Career Criminal Act so long as they form a separate unit within the whole and are punctuated occurrences with a limited duration. These separate offenses may include crimes committed during and in furtherance of a conspiracy. The Court considered the qualifying offenses the district court relied upon, and held that they were discrete offenses with limited durations during the conspiracy and therefore the district court properly enhanced the defendant’s sentence under the ACCA.