United States v. Andrew Sarchett

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United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 20-2517 ___________________________ United States of America lllllllllllllllllllllPlaintiff – Appellee v. Andrew Joseph Sarchett lllllllllllllllllllllDefendant – Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa – Cedar Rapids ____________ Submitted: June 14, 2021 Filed: July 12, 2021 ____________ Before BENTON, ARNOLD, and STRAS, Circuit Judges. ____________ ARNOLD, Circuit Judge. After Andrew Sarchett was charged with committing a half-dozen drug offenses, he pleaded guilty to one count of distributing methamphetamine by a person previously convicted of a felony drug offense. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and 851. He maintains on appeal that the district court miscalculated his Sentencing Guidelines range when it found him responsible for drugs to which he had no connection. He also maintains that the court erred in ordering him to pay restitution for environmental damages that drug manufacturing had caused. We agree with Sarchett, and so we reverse and remand for resentencing. Sarchett and the government entered into a plea agreement in which he stipulated that he had sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant for thirty dollars. In that agreement he stipulated to additional facts relevant to other charges levied against him but to which he did not plead guilty. At least two of those charges related to an incident that occurred at the home of Sarchett's girlfriend. According to the plea agreement, police went to the home to arrest Sarchett for a probation violation. Sarchett's girlfriend permitted officers to search for him, but he was not there. The search did, however, turn up equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine along with empty packaging for pseudoephedrine, a precursor of methamphetamine. The plea agreement then notes that Sarchett had bought 9.6 grams of pseudoephedrine three to six months earlier. At least two of those other charges related to an incident when police stopped a car that Sarchett's girlfriend was driving for an equipment violation. According to the plea agreement, when police performed the stop, a man fled from the vehicle on foot. Sarchett's girlfriend identified the man as someone other than Sarchett but then changed her story and said that Sarchett was the man who had fled. Officers found more manufacturing equipment in the car along with 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine. The agreement also stipulated that Sarchett was a career offender whose offense level at sentencing would be level thirty-four. See USSG § 4B1.1(b). The agreement recognized, though, that despite the parties' stipulation, the district court could conclude that Sarchett was not a career offender. In that case, his base offense level would be at least twelve, but it could be greater because "he could be assessed additional quantities of pseudoephedrine used to manufacture methamphetamine if that is deemed to be relevant conduct." -2- As the case proceeded to sentencing, the Probation Office prepared a presentence investigation report that incorporated the factual stipulations contained in the plea agreement. The PSR included a nearly verbatim reproduction of the stipulated facts regarding the search of …

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