from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 2:17-cr-20807-1-Bernard
A. Friedman, District Judge.
Jessica Lefort, FEDERAL DEFENDER OFFICE, Detroit, Michigan,
M. Williams, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Detroit,
Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: KEITH, COOK, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.
LARSEN, Circuit Judge.
Parrish had a cellphone in prison. After a woman outside the
prison informed prison officials that he had been texting
her, Parrish was charged with misdemeanor possession of
contraband and pleaded guilty. The district court sentenced
Parrish to five months in prison to run consecutively to his
250-month prison sentence for controlled substance
distribution. On appeal, Parrish challenges the
reasonableness of his sentence. We AFFIRM.
25, 2017, a woman outside the prison left an anonymous tip
with a corrections officer, saying that Parrish, a federal
prisoner, had been texting her. Officers began a search;
found Parrish in a prison bathroom; and saw him pull a
cellphone from his pocket, break the phone in half, and toss
it away. The officers recovered the phone. Parrish was
charged with one count of possession of contraband in prison,
a misdemeanor offense. 18 U.S.C. § 1791(a)(2). He
pleaded guilty to the charge.
government asked for a sentence within the Guidelines range
of four to ten months. Defense counsel asked the district
court to impose a below-Guidelines sentence of one day,
arguing that the court should vary downward because the
Bureau of Prisons had already disciplined Parrish for the
cellphone incident; because a one-day sentence was
commensurate with sentences given to others in the district
charged with the same crime; and because Parrish had not seen
his family in three years and so had used the phone to
"contact friends and family on the outside." When
asked at sentencing whether he had anything to say, Parrish
told the court that he "had the phone to keep in contact
with my children and stuff like that." Responding to
Parrish's statement and explaining the sentence, the
In this matter, the Bureau of Prisons became aware of the
situation . . . because some third-party who he was texting,
a woman, contacted them. So that's fairly disturbing
because, obviously, it wasn't his family or they
wouldn't have turned him in.
Somebody turned him in that didn't want him to contact
them. So this is a different case, though. I have seen
another one. At least in my mind if he was contacting his
family, that's-you know, it's not right, but . . .
he's contacting somebody that didn't want him to
contact them and turned him in, which is pretty acute in this
day and age especially.
And I understand that he has been probably more than
sufficiently disciplined in the prison system, but the prison
system is not the criminal justice system. And there's no
question about that. I have to impose a sentence pursuant to
the sentencing guidelines, if I find them applicable. And I
do find them applicable in this case. I don't have any
reason to fashion anything other than the sentencing
guidelines because I don't see any reason why it
wouldn't be fair. And also under the 3553 criteria. As I
say, this is the criminal aspect of it, not the disciplinary
aspect of it, of the prison.
And I have to fashion something. Especially in this case.
This one is a deterrence case to a great deal that will deter
him and ...