Submitted: February 9, 2015.
Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City.
For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Christina Y. Tabor, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Kansas City, MO.
For Dante M. Williams, Defendant - Appellant: Anita L. Burns, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Kansas City, MO.
Dante M. Williams, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Kansas City, MO.
Before LOKEN, SMITH, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.
COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Dante Williams pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The district court sentenced him to thirty-seven months' imprisonment. Williams appeals the sentence, arguing that it is substantively unreasonable because the district court gave undue weight to the nature and circumstances of his offense, ignored mitigating factors, and accorded impermissible weight to the fact that Williams was prosecuted in federal court. We affirm.
During a traffic stop on January 7, 2012, Williams left the vehicle and ran from police officers. Officers saw Williams drop a black handgun, which was later identified as a loaded Glock 9 millimeter pistol.
Williams pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). At sentencing, Williams asked the court to vary downward from the advisory guidelines sentencing range pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and sentence him to probation. He cited as mitigating factors his stable employment history, his provision of financial support for his family, his involvement with his community and church, the age of his prior felony convictions, and the fact that he lived and worked in a high-crime area.
The district court denied Williams's request for a sentence of probation, observing that Williams fled from police and that the gun he possessed was fully loaded. The court then sentenced him to thirty-seven months' imprisonment, at the bottom of the advisory guideline range, citing the factors listed in § 3553(a). After imposing the sentence, the court said:
[T]his case is a run-of-the-mill felon-in-possession case. For some reason, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department has to have their felon-in-possession cases brought into federal court. This ought to have stayed in the State of Missouri, but, apparently, the U.S. Attorney's Office lets the police ...