Submitted: March 9, 2015.
Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock.
For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Michael S. Gordon, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cameron Charles McCree, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.
For Wayne Earl Jones, Jr., Defendant - Appellant: Dale E. Adams, Montgomery & Adams, Little Rock, AR.
Wayne Earl Jones, Jr., Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Oklahoma City, OK.
Before MURPHY, MELLOY, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
MELLOY, Circuit Judge.
Wayne Jones, Jr. and an accomplice agreed with an undercover agent to rob a cocaine stash house, kill the stash house's two guards, and sell the stolen cocaine. Unknown to Jones and his accomplice, the stash house and the guards were fictitious. When Jones and his accomplice arrived with guns on the morning the robbery was set to occur, authorities arrested them. Jones pleaded guilty to conspiring to use a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. At his sentencing, he requested a three-level reduction under United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2X1.1(b)(2) because the object of the conspiracy, from the outset, could not have come to fruition. The district court denied Jones's request. Because the district court did not clearly err by finding the circumstances showed Jones would have completed all the acts necessary to complete the object of the conspiracy but for federal agents' intervention, we affirm.
In late August 2011, ATF agents received information that Jones and an accomplice were robbing drug dealers in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area. A confidential informant set up a meeting between Jones and an undercover ATF agent. The agent convinced Jones that he was running cocaine from Little Rock to Detroit and receiving only $500 per kilogram delivered. The agent told Jones he wanted to rob a cocaine stash house in Little Rock because he was unhappy with his remuneration. The story was false--no stash house existed.
During a series of recorded meetings, Jones and an accomplice planned the robbery with the agent. They planned to rob the stash house at gunpoint, kill the two guards, and steal between five and twenty kilograms of cocaine. Jones and his accomplice would split the stolen cocaine with the agent and then either buy the agent's portion of cocaine or help the agent sell the cocaine in the Little Rock area.
On September 12, 2011, Jones and his accomplice met the agent at a hotel to finalize their plans for the robbery. Jones and his accomplice brought four ...