The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPORKIN
STANLEY SPORKIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
On January 31, 1991, Renee T. Jackson came before the Court for sentencing. I sentenced Ms. Jackson to a term of imprisonment of 36 months. Pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, I stated for the record the reasons for the sentence I imposed. This sentencing memorandum amplifies those reasons.
Ms. Jackson was indicted on one count of possession with the intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. She pled guilty to the lesser included offense of possession with the intent to distribute a detectable amount of cocaine base. The total amount of cocaine base found on Ms. Jackson was 5.067 grams. According to the Sentence Reform Act guidelines, this amount of narcotics merits an offense level of 26. The probation office found that Ms. Jackson has fully accepted responsibility for her offense, and I accept this finding based upon the testimony of Ms. Jackson at her sentencing hearing and upon her answers to questions propounded by the Court at earlier appearances. Based upon this finding, Ms. Jackson is entitled to a reduction of two points in her offense level, bringing the offense level for her crime to 24.
Ms. Jackson has one prior conviction. In 1987 she was convicted for attempted possession of cocaine and attempted possession of PCP. In the sentencing guidelines framework, Ms. Jackson has a criminal history category of I. For a defendant with an offense level of 24 and a criminal history category of I, the guidelines recommend a sentence within the range of 51 to 63 months.
I have decided, however, to impose a sentence below this range. I base my decision on two grounds. First, under § 3B1.2(a) of the Guidelines Manual, Ms. Jackson deserves a reduction of her sentence due to her minimal role in the offense she committed. Second, regardless of Ms. Jackson's entitlement to a § 3B1.2(a) reduction, I find that Ms. Jackson's family commitments and her lack of threat to society warrant a departure below the guideline recommendation of 51 months.
Ms. Jackson's Role in Her Offense
Section 3B1.2 of the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual provides:
Based on the defendant's role in the offense, decrease the offense level as follows:
(a) If the defendant was a minimal participant in any criminal activity, decrease by 4 levels.
The Application Notes to this provision state that
I find that on the facts of this case Ms. Jackson qualifies for a 4 point reduction in offense level due to her minimal role in the offense. Ms. Jackson is addicted to crack cocaine. She obtained the drugs which she possessed from her dealer, a man she described to the police and identified as "James." Ms. Jackson does not ...