United States v. Jean, No. 04 CR 424-05 (RWS), 2006 WL 3316836 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 13, 2006)
Jean pled guilty in response to an information charging a single count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Based on an offense level of 31 and a Criminal History Category of V, Jean's Guidelines range for imprisonment was 168 to 210 months -- very serious time for a 23 year old. Jean, however, was sentenced to a non-Guidelines sentence of 120 months imprisonment (the mandatory minimum for his offense) based on his difficult personal history, his alcohol and drug use since a very young age, the minimal sentences he received for his prior offenses, and the disparity between his advisory Guidelines range and the advisory Guidelines ranges of his co-defendants.
A non-Guidelines sentence seems appropriate here. But one has to question whether or not such a large variance will provoke an appeal by the Government and, if appealed, how the Second Circuit will respond.