United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
L. Miller, Jr., Judge United States District Court.
Haught conspired to acquire powerful semiautomatic firearms
through false statements to firearms dealers, then get the
firearms to the Mexican border, where their serial numbers
would be obliterated and they would be sold in Mexico. Mr.
Haught has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, 18
U.S.C. § 371, and to one count of aiding and abetting
the making of false statements to licensed firearms dealers,
18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(6) and 2. The government had no
objection to the presentence report. Mr. Haught objected to a
sentence in paragraph 69 of the report that won't affect
the sentence. The court adopts as its own findings paragraphs
1-89 and 92-102 of the presentence report, specifically
including paragraphs 54-77 concerning Mr. Haught's
financial condition and earning ability.
Haught and the government both told the court they had no
objections to the conditions of supervision proposed in Part
D of the presentence report.
sentencing court must first compute the guidelines sentence
correctly, then decide whether the guidelines sentence is the
correct sentence for that defendant. United States v.
Garcia, 754 F.3d 460, 483 (7th Cir. 2014). The court
applies the 2016 version of the sentencing guidelines.
1 and 2 are grouped and treated as a single count for
purposes of the sentencing guideline calculations. U.S.S.G.
§ 3D1.2(d). The base offense level for crimes involving
illegal possession of firearms is 14. U.S.S.G. §
2K2.1(a)(6)(C). Mr. Haught was personally involved with at
least eight firearms, so his offense level is increased by
four levels. U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(1)(B). His offense
level is increased by four levels because the offense
involved firearms with obliterated serial numbers, U.S.S.G.
§ 2K2.1(b)(4)(B), by another four levels because Mr.
Haught engaged in trafficking firearms, U.S.S.G. §
2K2.1(b)(5), and by four more levels because he had reason to
believe the firearms would be transferred outside the United
State. U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(6)(A). His offense level is
then reduced by three levels to reflect his clear and timely
acceptance of responsibility, U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1,
producing a final adjusted offense level of 27.
sentencing guidelines assess one criminal history point for
Mr. Haught's time-served sentence in 2013 for possession
of controlled substances. U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1(c). That
single point places him in criminal history category I, so
the sentencing guidelines recommend a sentencing range of 70
to 87 months' imprisonment. U.S.S.G. § 5A.
court decides the sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3553,
United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).
Accordingly, the court turns to the statutory factors,
seeking a reasonable sentence: one sufficient, but not
greater than necessary, to satisfy the purposes of the
sentencing statute. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
guideline range is the starting point and the initial
benchmark, but the court doesn't presume that the
recommended range is reasonable. Gall v. United
States, 552 U.S. 38, 50 (2007). As just calculated, the
sentencing guidelines, which ordinarily pose the best hope,
on a national basis, for avoiding unwarranted sentence
disparities among defendants with similar records who have
been found guilty of similar conduct, 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a)(6); United States v. Boscarino, 437 F.3d
634, 638 (7th Cir. 2006), recommend a sentencing range of 70
to 87 months. The government and defendant jointly recommend
a sentence between 57 and 71 months; their recommendation is
made under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), so while the court
isn't required to accept Mr. Haught's guilty plea,
the court can't impose a sentence of less than 57 month
or more than 71 months without giving Mr. Haught a chance to
withdraw his guilty plea. Mr. Haught more specifically
recommended a 57-month sentence.
Haught helped smuggle some major firepower into Mexico. The
record doesn't reveal who got the guns in Mexico or how
the guns were used, but these were not weapons used for
sport. They were weapons of war. Mr. Haught involved family
members who now have their own felony records and all that
goes along with felony records. Mr. Haught's guilty plea
spared the government the time and expense of trial and trial
Haught is an addict. He is addicted to opioid pain pills. He
started on the pills as treatment for pain from back surgery
about ten years ago. He has moved from hydrocodone to
oxycodone to Suboxone. Treatment was tried while Mr. Haught
was on pretrial release, but Mr. Haught relapsed quickly and
his pretrial release eventually was revoked. He reports
feeling considerably better since being in custody for nearly
Haught is 40 years old. His addiction shines through his
personal history and characteristics. Mr. Haught could report
no employment that can be confirmed, instead reporting that
he has supported himself as a woodworker for the past 20
years (his family attests to his skills). He reports
graduating from high school, but the high school's
records only show attendance through the ninth grade. Mr.
Haught lied repeatedly to his pretrial services officer about
his use of pills while he was on pretrial release; she
arranged for a mental evaluation, and that evaluation scored
Mr. Haught high on narcissism and grandiosity. Mr. Haught is
in a 12-year relationship that has produced a 6-year-old son
with whom Mr. Haught has regular contact.
courts must consider the need for the sentence to protect the
public from the defendant. Society's need for protection
from Mr. Haught appears to depend entirely on whether he
stays clean and sober after he is released from prison. If he
does not stay clean, he remains the same man who conspired to
get powerful weapons into what seems likely to have been the
wrong hands in Mexico. If he stays clean, society
wouldn't appear to need protection from Richard Haught.
sentencing guidelines ordinarily are the best measurement of
the need to reflect the crime's seriousness, to provide
just punishment for the crime, and to deter others from
committing the same sort of crimes. This record presents no
greater yardstick. Reasonably uniform sentencing practices
generally tend to promote respect for the law.
policy statement by the Sentencing Commission says that when
presented with a binding sentencing recommendation under Fed.
R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C) that isn't within the applicable
guideline range, the court should accept the recommendation
if it is outside the advisory range for justifiable reasons.
The parties' recommendation binds the court and is
outside the advisory range for justifiable reasons. Mr.
Haught's criminal activity appears to have been driven
entirely by his addiction, which began with legitimately
prescribed pain pills rather than a decision to try a
controlled substance for recreational purposes. Mr. Haught
hasn't yet shown that he will put opioid use behind him,
but he has taken steps that make it difficult for him to
return to crime. A reasonable sentence can be found in the
range on which the government and Mr. Haught have ...