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United States v. Ingram

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

August 25, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TODD INGRAM Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Danny C. Reeves, United States District Judge.

         “I see nobody on the road, ” said Alice. “I only wish I had such eyes, ” the King remarked in a fretful tone. “To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!”

         Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, (1993 ed.)

         The above passage aptly describes the current state of affairs in the federal courts, post-Johnson and Mathis, in determining what should be clear; that is, what constitutes a violent felony. As discussed below, however, the answer is hardly clear as courts struggle to find the answer under the light cast by the Supreme Court.

         The defendant's objections to the Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) are currently pending for resolution. [Record No. 31] The United States sought an extension of time to respond to the sentencing objections, in light of their complexity. [Record No. 33] The Court granted the extension and provided time for the defendant to reply. [Record No. 35] The undersigned provided notice to the parties including a preliminary discussion of the objections to facilitate resolution of the defendant's objections. [Id.] The United States filed a timely response, and the defendant filed a timely reply. [Record Nos. 37 and 38]

         The Court will overrule the defendant's objections after considering the parties' arguments. The defendant's conviction on numerous (upwards of ten) counts of Kentucky first-degree robbery, as well as his federal bank robbery and carjacking convictions, qualify violent felonies for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). The defendant is an Armed Career Criminal in the truest sense of that phrase.

         I. Background

         In the instant offense, Defendant Todd Ingram pleaded guilty on May 12, 2017, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). [Record Nos. 15, 28, 30] As part of his plea agreement, Ingram admitted that on December 13, 2016, ATF agents located in his vehicle a 9 mm handgun, suspected heroin, and digital scales. [Record No. 28 at 2] Ingram admitted possession of the firearm, and the Kentucky State Police Lab confirmed the suspected heroin to contain heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, and fentanyl, a schedule II controlled substance. [Id.] The United States' agreed to seek dismissal of Count 2 of the Superseding Indictment, charging possession of the controlled substance. [Id. at 1] Also listed in Ingram's plea agreement are the defendant's past convictions. [Id. at 4] Ingram was convicted on September 7, 1994, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky of Bank Robbery, Aiding and Abetting, and use of a Firearm in a Crime of Violence, Aiding and Abetting. [Id.] On September 6, 1994, he was convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky of Carjacking, Aiding and Abetting. [Id.] On August 19, 1993, Ingram was convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court, Commonwealth of Kentucky, of thirteen counts of Robbery First Degree. [Id.] Finally, On January 13, 1993, Ingram was convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court, Commonwealth of Kentucky, of Complicity to Commit First Degree Robbery. [Id.] Ingram does not dispute the fact of these convictions, nor the factual background relating to them as presented in the PSR. [See Record No. 31] However, he reserved the right to challenge any Armed Career Criminal designation, and has done so.

         The following is a summary of the 13 counts of first-degree robbery to which Ingram was convicted on August 19, 1993. Each count was for robbery committed while armed with a deadly weapon, all occurring in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Ingram's signed state-court plea agreement lists the offenses as “armed robbery.” They are as follows:

Count 1: On September 13, 1992, Ingram and two accomplices robbed a Save-A-Step Food Mart on Rockford Lane, Jefferson County, KY, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 2: On September 30, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Dairy Mart on Bardstown Road, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 5: On October 9, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Dairy Mart on Bardstown Road, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 6: On October 22, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Dairy Mart on Barry Avenue, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 7: On November 12, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Dairy Mart in the Algonquin neighborhood of Louisville, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 8: On November 13, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Shell Food Mart on Floyd Street, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 10: On November 15, 1992, Ingram and one accomplice robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Dixie Highway, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 11: On November 22, 1992, Ingram robbed a Save-A-Step Food Mart, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 13: On November 27, 1992, Ingram and two accomplices robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Preston Highway, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 14: On November 29, 1992, Ingram and two accomplices robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Dixie Highway, using or threatening use of physical force while armed with a deadly weapon.
Count 15: On November 29, 1992, Ingram and two accomplices robbed Michael Faulkner, using or threatening use of physical force ...

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