Sentence of only 33 Months for Defendant Charged with Intent to Distribute 2,500 Pounds of Marijuana

In U.S. v. M.A., the defendant was charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute approximately 2,500 pounds of marijuana. He was a professional Jamaican soccer player who remained in the United States unlawfully beyond the expiration of his visa due to a catastrophic knee injury. Recovering from surgery on that knee, he agreed to maintain the stash house to which over two tons, and arguably much more,marijuana was delivered in exchange for free rent and usage of a late-model BMW automobile. At the time of his arrest, he denied knowledge of who owned that BMW and the house in which his passport and other personal possessions were found. He also denied certain actions which law-enforcement agents could confirm through their own extensive surveillance. Although the defendant faced a mandatory federal prison sentence of ten years, Attorney Dudley negotiated a plea agreement pursuant to which the maximum prison term imposed would be four years. Before sentencing, the United States Probation Office recommended the full four-year term, as did the government. Mr. Dudley, however, convinced the district court that various mitigating circumstances warranted a sentence of only 33 months.

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