(a) Base Offense Level (Apply the greater):
(1) 4 plus the offense level from §2D1.1 applicable to the underlying offense; or
Statutory Provision: 21 U.S.C. § 848.
1. Do not apply any adjustment from Chapter Three, Part B (Role in the Offense).
2. If as part of the enterprise the defendant sanctioned the use of violence, or if the number of persons managed by the defendant was extremely large, an upward departure may be warranted.
3. Under 21 U.S.C. § 848, certain conduct for which the defendant has previously been sentenced may be charged as part of the instant offense to establish a "continuing series of violations." A sentence resulting from a conviction sustained prior to the last overt act of the instant offense is to be considered a prior sentence under §4A1.2(a)(1) and not part of the instant offense.
4. Violations of 21 U.S.C. § 848 will be grouped with other drug offenses for the purpose of applying Chapter Three, Part D (Multiple Counts).
Background: Because a conviction under 21 U.S.C. § 848 establishes that a defendant controlled and exercised authority over one of the most serious types of ongoing criminal activity, this guideline provides a minimum base offense level of 38. An adjustment from Chapter Three, Part B is not authorized because the offense level of this guideline already reflects an adjustment for role in the offense.
Title 21 U.S.C. § 848 provides a 20-year minimum mandatory penalty for the first conviction, a 30-year minimum mandatory penalty for a second conviction, and a mandatory life sentence for principal administrators of extremely large enterprises. If the application of the guidelines results in a sentence below the minimum sentence required by statute, the statutory minimum shall be the guideline sentence. See §5G1.1(b).