U.S. v. Kinder, Nos. 90-8579

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore THORNBERRY, DAVIS, and WIENER; W. EUGENE DAVIS
Citation946 F.2d 362
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Larry KINDER, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. David KINDER, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date21 October 1991
Docket Number90-8580,Nos. 90-8579

Page 362

946 F.2d 362
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Larry KINDER, Defendant-Appellant.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
David KINDER, Defendant-Appellant.
Nos. 90-8579, 90-8580.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
Oct. 21, 1991.

Page 364

Linda Gassaway, Waco, Tex. (Court-appointed), for defendants-appellants.

LeRoy Morgan Jahn, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Antonio, Tex., John A. Phinizy, Asst. U.S. Atty., Waco, Tex., for plaintiff-appellee in No. 90-8579.

LeRoy Morgan Jahn, Asst. U.S. Atty., Ronald F. Ederer, U.S. Atty., San Antonio, Tex., John A. Phinizy, Asst. U.S. Atty., Waco, Tex., for plaintiff-appellee in No. 90-8580.

Appeals from the United States District Court For the Western District of Texas.

Before THORNBERRY, DAVIS, and WIENER, Circuit Judges.

W. EUGENE DAVIS, Circuit Judge:

David and Larry Kinder appeal their guilty pleas and sentences for conspiring to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Because both appellants were

Page 365

sentenced under the harsher of two overlapping penalty provisions, we remand so the district court may resentence according to the rule of lenity. We affirm the district court on all other issues.

I.

In February 1990, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS), the Waco Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigated the distribution of methamphetamine around Waco, Texas. They believed that Larry Kinder (Larry) and Sandra Kay Shook were major methamphetamine dealers in the area. A confidential informant had told Officer Floyd Goodwin of the TDPS that Larry was looking for a methamphetamine supplier. The informant also told officer Goodwin that Shook sold methamphetamine and collected the proceeds for Larry but that Larry controlled the operation. According to the informant, Larry sold between eight ounces and one pound of methamphetamine per week in the Waco area.

Working undercover, Officer Goodwin commenced negotiations on February 8, 1990 to sell methamphetamine to Larry. After a few phone calls between Larry, Shook, and Goodwin, Shook went to Goodwin's hotel room. Shook told Officer Goodwin that she took care of most of Larry's "dope business" for him and discussed the possibility of purchasing a quarter-pound of methamphetamine from Goodwin. Goodwin told Shook that the $2,600 offered was not worth his time and declined to sell. Shook told Officer Goodwin that they did not need more because they still had eight ounces of unsold methamphetamine, but that they would be back later in the evening with more money.

A short time later Larry phoned Goodwin to say that he was trying to raise the money to buy a half-pound of methamphetamine. An hour later, however, Shook called Goodwin and told him that they had only $3,400. Goodwin told Shook that he would not break open his one-pound package for that. Shook told Goodwin that Larry would want at least a half-pound of methamphetamine by the next week.

On February 14, 1990 Officer Goodwin was informed that Larry was "ready to do business" by buying a half-pound. That evening, Larry and his brother David Kinder (David) went to Goodwin's hotel room. Larry told Goodwin that he had not wanted to buy a large amount of methamphetamine the week before "because he had 17 ounces of methamphetamine on the street and had not collected all of the money from the sale of [it]." Larry told Goodwin that he wanted to buy a half-pound now and would possibly want more later. Larry then instructed David to give Goodwin some bundles of money, and informed Goodwin that there was $5,800 in the bundles.

Officer Goodwin then had the informant retrieve the half-pound of methamphetamine from a dresser drawer. Larry told David to test the substance. David did so, first by snorting some and then by injecting some into his arm with a syringe. When Goodwin asked if the methamphetamine was good enough, David nodded his head enthusiastically. Larry instructed David to take the half-pound outside and wait for him (Larry). Officer Goodwin then gave an arrest signal and Larry and David both were arrested.

Larry and David pled guilty to a one-count indictment of conspiring to possess more than 100 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) (1988). 1 In exchange for the pleas, the government promised not to prosecute appellants for any additional offenses. At the sentencing hearing, the district court denied all of appellants' objections to the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR). The court included the non-charged 17 ounces of methamphetamine, of which Larry had spoken, when calculating the appellants' base offense level. Larry was sentenced to 210 months imprisonment, five years supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and a $50 mandatory assessment. David was sentenced as a career offender to 400 months imprisonment,

Page 366

five years supervised release, and a $50 mandatory assessment. These timely appeals followed.

II.

A.

Both appellants contend first that the district court relied on insufficient evidence when including the non-charged 17 ounces (481.93 grams) of methamphetamine as relevant conduct. The inclusion of this additional 17 ounces resulted in raising appellants' base offense level from 26 to 30 under U.S.S.G. §§ 2D1.1(a)(3), (c)(7), and (c)(9) (Nov.1989).

Information used in sentencing must have some indicia of reliability. U.S.S.G. § 6A1.3(a); United States v. Vontsteen, 910 F.2d 187, 190 (5th Cir.1990), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 801, 112 L.Ed.2d 862 (1991), reh'g granted en banc on other grounds, 919 F.2d 957 (5th Cir.1990). The district court has wide discretion in evaluating the reliability of the information and whether to consider it. United States v. Angulo, 927 F.2d 202, 205 (5th Cir.1991). A defendant who objects to the use of information bears the burden of proving that it is "materially untrue, inaccurate or unreliable." Id. We review only for clear error the district court's specific factual findings of the quantity of drugs involved. Id.

Here, the trial court's decision to include the extra 17 ounces was not clearly erroneous. The court adopted the findings of the PSR. The PSR, in turn, related Larry's statement to Goodwin that he (Larry) had 17 ounces of methamphetamine "on the street" as preventing him from having ready cash to buy methamphetamine offered for sale. Appellants argue that this statement is the only evidence of an additional 17 ounces and that the statement is unreliable because it was mere "puffery" on the part of Larry to boost his credibility with Goodwin. The record belies appellants' assertion. Officer Darryl Moore, who worked with Goodwin on the investigation, testified that he had information concerning "multiple ounces" sold by Larry. Larry's high sales volume is also supported by Goodwin's informant, who told Goodwin that Larry sold from eight to sixteen ounces of methamphetamine a week.

Appellants also argue economics. They argue that if they had 17 ounces of methamphetamine on the street Larry could have easily raised $5,800, the purchase price for one-half pound of the drug. The argument has at least two flaws. First, it assumes...

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48 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Mergerson, No. 92-1179
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 12, 1993
    ...at sentencing by a 'preponderance of relevant and sufficiently reliable evidence.' ") (citation omitted); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362 (5th Cir.1991), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 2290, 119 L.Ed.2d 214 (1992). Mergerson argues, however, that the due process clause require......
  • U.S. v. Sherrod, No. 90-4467
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • June 23, 1992
    ...current version of the statute, we are unable to do so under the version in effect at the time of the offense. United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 367-68 (5th Cir.1991) (remanding for resentencing under section 841(b)(1)(B) because the district court violated the rule of lenity). Followi......
  • BRAIN v. USA, Nos. 4:03-cr-38 / 4:08-cv-71
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Tennessee
    • April 8, 2011
    ...States v. Segler, 37 F.3d 1131, 1133 (5th Cir. 1994); United States v. Branch, 980 F.2d 1445 (5th Cir. 1992); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 368 (5th Cir. 1989); United States v. Durham, 941 Page 19F.2d 886, 889 (9th Cir. 1991); United States v. Lane, 931 F.2d 40 (11th Cir. 1991); U......
  • Fabricant v. United States, CV 14-8124-RSWL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 8, 2015
    ...States v. Lane, 931 F.2d 40 (11th Cir. 1991); United States v. Roark, 924 F.2d 1426, 1428-29 (8th Cir. 1991); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 368 (5th Cir. 1989); United States v. Schrock, 855 F.2d 327, 331-32 (6th Cir. 1988); Brain v. United States, No. 4:03-CR-38, 2011 WL 1343344, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • U.S. v. Mergerson, No. 92-1179
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 12, 1993
    ...at sentencing by a 'preponderance of relevant and sufficiently reliable evidence.' ") (citation omitted); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362 (5th Cir.1991), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 2290, 119 L.Ed.2d 214 (1992). Mergerson argues, however, that the due process clause require......
  • U.S. v. Sherrod, No. 90-4467
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • June 23, 1992
    ...current version of the statute, we are unable to do so under the version in effect at the time of the offense. United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 367-68 (5th Cir.1991) (remanding for resentencing under section 841(b)(1)(B) because the district court violated the rule of lenity). Followi......
  • BRAIN v. USA, Nos. 4:03-cr-38 / 4:08-cv-71
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Tennessee
    • April 8, 2011
    ...States v. Segler, 37 F.3d 1131, 1133 (5th Cir. 1994); United States v. Branch, 980 F.2d 1445 (5th Cir. 1992); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 368 (5th Cir. 1989); United States v. Durham, 941 Page 19F.2d 886, 889 (9th Cir. 1991); United States v. Lane, 931 F.2d 40 (11th Cir. 1991); U......
  • Fabricant v. United States, CV 14-8124-RSWL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • October 8, 2015
    ...States v. Lane, 931 F.2d 40 (11th Cir. 1991); United States v. Roark, 924 F.2d 1426, 1428-29 (8th Cir. 1991); United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362, 368 (5th Cir. 1989); United States v. Schrock, 855 F.2d 327, 331-32 (6th Cir. 1988); Brain v. United States, No. 4:03-CR-38, 2011 WL 1343344, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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