United States v. Denmark

The Third Circuit held that the spatial proximity between drugs and guns is not necessary to connect the firearms and drug offense under Section 2D1.1(b)(1) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In doing so, the Court reiterated that the government must first prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, only that the defendant possessed a dangerous weapon. Then the burden of production shifts to the defendant to demonstrate that the connection between the weapon and the drug offense was clearly improbable. And the Court reminded litigants that a sentencing court’s decision to apply the enhancement for weapons is essentially factual, meriting only clear-error review. Danes, relax. This case has nothing to do with you.

DENMARK