A member of Monterrio Fuller’s fentanyl distribution network was sentenced to four years in federal court Wednesday after pleading guilty in March before U.S. District Judge Brian Miller to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Cameron Coleman, 39, pleaded guilty on March 10 in exchange for the government rejecting a charge of using a telephone to facilitate a drug-related crime. In his plea agreement, he agreed that the amount of fentanyl involved in the offense ranged between 8 and 16 grams, subjecting him to a possible 20-year prison sentence and a fine of $ 1 million.
A pre-sentence report prepared by the federal bureau of probation and pre-trial services found a range of sentences, according to US sentencing guidelines, from 33 to 41 months in prison. Assistant U.S. lawyer Amanda Jegley has asked for a 37-month sentence, which is in the middle of the guideline range, and Coleman’s attorney, Jonathan Lane of Little Rock, said a directive sentence would be appropriate for his client.
Coleman assured Miller that he saw the error of his ways.
âThis is definitely the last time I am going to show up in a courtroom,â Coleman said. “I have family there who need me.”
But none of that suited Miller, who tweaked the sentence upward by an additional seven months above the recommended maximum after noting Coleman’s extensive criminal history spanning 20 years.
“I don’t think any punishment I give Mr. Coleman will be a deterrent,” Miller said. âMr. Coleman is a long-time criminal, and he does.
“Now does that mean I’m going to give you a bunch of years?” He asked, turning his attention to Coleman. “No. But I’m looking at your file Mr. Coleman, and you’re just a stubborn criminal, and I’m going to read it to you.”
Miller noted that since the age of 18, Coleman had accumulated a total of 858 months, or 71.5 years in prison sentences handed down by various courts in Arkansas.
âIt’s been 72 years since we gave you, and it’s between 18 and 39,â Miller said. “In 21 years, you got 71 years in prison. You were on probation when you committed this crime, in fact, it was two months after your release from prison that you got out and were arrested. for it. “
At this point, Miller, who has often criticized the workings of the state prison system, noted that Coleman’s time in the state prison system had had no deterrent effect on his criminal activities.
“If you weren’t in jail – which in the state of Arkansas doesn’t really put you in jail but just gives you time, and you don’t actually go – but when you weren’t in prison you were committing crimes, âhe said. “It ranges from burglary to drugs to anything. You are just a criminal.”
Miller then asked, rhetorically, if there was a jail term he could impose that could act as a deterrent to future criminal conduct. Miller acknowledged that the amount of fentanyl involved in the offense must be very low, otherwise the baseline level of the offense would have been higher and the range of recommended penalties more severe.
“The record shows that in the 15 or 20 cases that you had before this one, you probably said the same thing to those judges,” he said. “The question is, do I send you to jail forever?” In fact, this is a case where he probably deserves five or 10 years, but then the question is what is it for?
At this point Miller said he wouldn’t change the penalty up to five years, but would change it up “just to let you know it just has to stop at some point. “.
He noted that, given Coleman’s criminal history, he could likely increase the sentence to up to 10 years in prison and still be successful on appeal.
“I think I can justify giving you 120 [months], and that case would come to the 8th circuit and they would turn it over so quickly claiming you wouldn’t even have a chance to go back to your cell, âMiller said. âBut I’m not going to do this. What I’m going to do is increase from seven months to 48 months, and it’s based on your story and I hope that deters you, but I don’t think it will. “
Miller also ordered Coleman a five-year supervised release period. He issued an order allowing Coleman, at Lane’s request, to be out of jail for seven days before showing up to jail and under close electronic surveillance and monitoring by the Probation and Probation Services Office, to visit to his father, who Lane told Miller in hospice care and should not live more than a few weeks.