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United States v. Enoch

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 28, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Deandre Enoch, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued November 10, 2016

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15-CR-66 - Matthew F. Kennelly, Judge.

          Before Ripple, Manion, and Rovner, Circuit Judges.

          ROVNER, Circuit Judge.

         The government charged Deandre Enoch with robbing a person having custody of property belonging to the United States, under 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a) and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii)[1]. He pleaded guilty to both counts but reserved his right to file an appeal disputing the district court's ruling that the former offense qualified as a crime of violence, thus rendering his brandishing a gun in connection with that offense a separate crime punishable under 18 U.S.C. §924(c). Moreover, § 924(c)(1)(D)(ii) of that same statute requires that a court impose a consecutive sentence upon a defendant who carries a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Consequently, Enoch's sentence increased significantly because the court considered the conviction under § 2114(a) to be a crime of violence which mandated the imposition of the consecutive sentence. Enoch now disputes that this underlying crime was a crime of violence. The district court concluded that it was, and sentenced Enoch to 24 months on Count 1 and a consecutive 84 months on Count 2. Enoch appeals, and we affirm.

         I.

         The indictment charged Enoch with (1) robbery of a person having lawful custody of money of the United States, and, in effecting the robbery, putting the life of that person in jeopardy by the use of a dangerous weapon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a); (2) brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, namely the robbery charged in Count I, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).[2] Under 924(c)(1)(D), a court must impose a consecutive sentence on those who are convicted under §924(c)(1)(A), that is:

any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence ... uses or carries a firearm, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm ....

18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).

         In other words, the robbery of government property, (18 U.S.C. § 2114(a)) was the underlying or anchor crime which, when accompanied by the brandishing of the firearm, constituted a separate offense under § 924(c) and required the court to sentence Enoch to consecutive sentences.

         The only question in this case, therefore, is whether the underlying crime in 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a)-robbing another of government property-is a crime of violence such that it triggered the imposition of § 924(c). Section 924(c)(3) of the statute defines a crime of violence as follows:

(3) For purposes of this subsection the term "crime of violence" means an offense that is a felony and -
(A) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
(B) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the ...

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