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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No.: 2011CMD4135 Judge Morin Sentencing Date: July 25, 2011
JENNIFER GREEN, Defendant
GOVERNMENT'S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
The United States of America, by and through its attorney, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, respectfully submits this memorandum in aid of sentencing.
The defendant is before the Court for sentencing, having pleaded guilty to Attempted SecondDegree Burglary. The defendant committed this crime while she was a uniformed officer of the
Metropolitan Police Department, and had taken a sworn oath to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia. The charged offense arose during an undercover sting investigation in which a
cooperating witness invited the defendant to help commit a residential burglary by acting as a lookout while the cooperating witness would break into the apartment of a suspected drug dealer to steal money and drugs. According to the evidence, the defendant's participation in this crime was the product of planning and premeditation, and by her own admission it was motivated by a desire for money. On March 4,2011, the night before the offense, the defendant met with the cooperating witness at a bar in the District, where the cooperating witness told the defendant about the opportunity to steal money and drugs from an apartment, which the cooperating witness indicated would be unoccupied the following evening.
Without hesitation, the defendant agreed to join in the offense, telling the cooperating witness that, although she had no use for the drugs, she could use the money. The defendant took a calm and businesslike approach to the burglary, including asking the cooperating witness whether there were security cameras at the location. The defendant then had the opportunity to sleep on the decision
of whether to participate in the offense, rather than uphold the law and protect the citizens of the District, as she had sworn to do as a police officer.'
] The defendant incorrectly claims that she "repeatedly declined" offers from the cooperating witness to "assist him in robbing the homes of different drug dealers" before March 4, 2011. See Sentencing Memorandum ("Sent. Mem."), at4. On July20 and July 25, 2010, several months before the charged offense, the defendant and the cooperating witness ("eW") had the following discussion on Facebook concerning a similar planned burglary: Defendant: CW: so did u check that spot out this weekend? I have been looking at that spot for a week now should be ready to move in soon We're ready. u got ur phone back? nope they said it was not there oh theres no money there? nope nothing
Defendant: CW: Defendant: CW:
Defendant: CW: Defendant: CW: Defendant: CW:
... dang so shawty in bmore is a not go? thats a blower man! no it's still on should be ready in a few days. aww man im slow. sorry. u talkin bout ur property? Ijust been chillin laying back Friday? Thursday? u staying wit ur folks? in balitmore [sic] yes Ithink we should be good on like Monday night he going out of town So u wanna hit it when he not there? Yea
On Saturday evening, March 5, 2011, the cooperating witness called the defendant and asked her if she "was still trying to do that" with him later. She responded, "yea man, you got what you need to do that?" At approximately 8:15 p.m., the cooperating witness picked up the defendant at her home. The defendant was dressed in dark clothing, armed with her service firearm, and carrying her police radio, even though she was off duty at the time. The defendant turned her police radio to the Fourth District police radio zone, and she directed the cooperating witness to the vicinity of Georgia Avenue and Quinn Street, Northwest Washington, where they parked outside the apartment that they were targeting. The cooperating witness hid a steel crowbar in the right sleeve of his jacket, and then exited the vehicle and went inside of an apartment building on Quincy Street. As the cooperating witness was inside the apartment building, the defendant monitored the police radio, listening for signs that the break-in had been detected. The cooperating witness returned with $1050.00 in cash and a
ziplock bag containing white soap pieces packaged to look like crack cocaine. When the defendant saw what she apparently believed to be illegal drugs stolen from the inside of the apartment, she expressed her happiness by laughing and saying, "oh my God." She then said, "he's gonna be
upset," referring to the person whose apartment had been burglarized.
Defendant: CW: Defendant:
He got an alarm with all that money in the house? I will call you later remeber [sic] this is the internet Word. hit me at my spot ....
he IiI bro. whats the word? when we doin this?
The cooperating witness handed a wad of money to the defendant to count and drove away. The defendant counted the money and told the cooperating witness they had a "G 50," meaning onethousand and fifty dollars. The defendant's share was $600.00, which she kept. The money was later recovered from the defendant when she was arrested that evening.
GOVERNMENT'S POSITION ON SENTENCING A. The Maximum Punishment and Applicable Sentencing Guidelines Range.
The defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years of imprisonment.
Presentence Report ("PSR"), p.l. Under the Superior Court Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines, the applicable sentencing range is from 6 to 24 months of imprisorunent, probation, or a combination of both. As detailed below, based on the defendant's voluntary participation in a crime of violence, which involved the abuse of her position of trust as a sworn law enforcement officer, a sentence that includes a period of imprisorunent is appropriate in this case.
The Defendant Should Be Sentenced To a Term of Imprisonment.
This case involves several aggravating factors that justify the Court imposing a sentence of imprisorunent. the law. First, the offense of attempted second-degree burglary is a crime of violence under
In this case, the defendant attempted to burglarize a private residence, which is an
aggravated form of burglary and represents a willingness to victimize an individual resident of the District. In addition, the defendant and her conspirator targeted the premises based on a perception that it belonged to a drug dealer. This is significant for two reasons: it made the crime more
dangerous because of the greater likelihood that it could result in violence, notwithstanding that the defendant was told the apartment would be unoccupied; and it increased the chances that they would not get caught because a drug dealer would be unlikely to report the crime to the police.
Second, the defendant was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department when she committed the offense. Despite her sworn duty to uphold the law and protect the citizens of the District, she willingly joined in the commission of a violent felony in the very same police district she was assigned to patrol. Indeed, according to her own sentencing memorandum, the defendant agreed to commit the offense with a friend who "spoke freely ... about his criminal escapades," including that he was "into robbing drug dealers." See Sent. Mem. at 3. Not only did the defendant fail to stop her friend or even distance herself from a person she believed to be engaged in violent criminal behavior, she freely joined in the "criminal escapades." Even after her friend had been
arrested and charged with an armed felony, she continued to associate with him and encouraged him to engage in what she believed to be more violent criminal behavior. In fact, it is telling that,
according to the defendant's sentencing memorandum, she participated in this offense knowing that her conspirator had a pending Superior Court felony case and was on release by a judicial officer of the Court. By these actions, the defendant undermined the criminal justice system and demonstrated her contempt for the Court. Third, the defendant abused her position as a police officer to commit the charged offense. As the defendant has admitted, she served as a lookout during what she believed was a burglary to steal money and drugs. To help make sure the crime would succeed, she misused her police radio and her access to non-public police communications to gain an added advantage in committing the offense. During the offense she commented to the cooperating witness that the police channels she
could access with her radio were not available to the public. The defendant also was armed with a loaded firearm during the offense, increasing the risk of danger to the community by her actions.' Fourth, in agreeing to help burglarize the apartment of a suspected drug dealer (see Sent. Mem., at 4), the defendant clearly understood that a purpose of the crime was to steal illegal drugs. Although the defendant's sentencing memorandum praises her for "declin[ing] the drugs," see id., the evidence is clear that she understood and expected that the cooperating witness would take the suspected drugs and sell them to make money, thus further promoting dangerous felony behavior.
In fact, she commented that the cooperating witness would be able to "make a little bit off that,"
referring to the suspected drugs. For her part, the defendant kept about half of the money that she believed was taken from inside the burglarized apartment. Fifth, contrary to a claim in the defendant's sentencing memorandum, the instant offense is not the defendant's first time on the wrong side of the criminal justice system. See Sent. Mem., at 1. According to the PSR, the defendant was charged with Second-Degree Assault in Maryland in July 2010, a charge that was later dismissed. However, the Metropolitan Police Department
sustained a finding of misconduct against her. According to the defendant's statement to the PSR writer, that finding was upheld when she appealed it and she was required to serve a 20-day suspension. See Sent. Mem., at 5.
2 The defendant's claim that she was required to carry her service firearm according to MPD orders turns common sense on its head. See Sent. Mem., at 4. The defendant has admitted breaking the law, and presumably violating MPD orders as well, by participating in a planned home invasion burglary. The defendant's fidelity to the administrative orders of her job clearly was not what prompted her to carry a loaded firearm while committing the offense. More likely, it was another measure to ensure that she and her conspirator would successfully complete the offense.
Finally, there is disturbing evidence in this case that the defendant's criminal disposition runs deeper than the single charged offense that brought her before the Court. As the defendant and the cooperating witness drove away from the crime scene in this case, the defendant was recorded discussing firearms with the cooperating witness, who indicated that he thought he might have needed his "piece" during the burglary, referring to a firearm. The defendant mentioned that she had multiple firearms that were registered, and agreed that she needed to get a "dirty joint," a reference to an unregistered firearm. The defendant also volunteered that she had some nine-millimeter
"hollow points" to give to the cooperating witness, referring to ammunition for his illegal firearm. She did so while, according to her own admissions, the cooperating witness was on release for a case involving an assault with a firearm that occurred in the District. This conduct demonstrates much more than an isolated lapse in judgment, revealing the defendant's willingness to endanger the community she was sworn to protect.
The Defendant's Background Does Not Justify a Probationary Sentence.
It is not surprising that, as a police officer, the defendant has no record of criminal convictions. Her background, moreover, sets her apart from many defendants who appear before the Court for sentencing, who lack the family support and superior education of the defendant. The
defendant also deserves credit for pleading guilty to a felony offense and accepting responsibility for her actions in this case. However, it should be noted that the defendant also received the benefit of a favorable plea agreement that permitted her to avoid facing a mandatory prison sentence that might have applied had the case gone to trial. Although the defendant entered an early, pre-indictment guilty plea in this case, her conduct immediately following her arrest demonstrated a refusal to accept responsibility for her actions and
a lack of remorse. The defendant waived her constitutional right to remain silent and agreed to give a statement to an investigator. Rather than tell the truth, however, the defendant used the opportunity to lie repeatedly to the investigator, insisting that she had committed no crime and feigning indignation at the suggestion that she had been involved in any illegal behavior admits to doing.' Nor is the defendant's status as a police officer a mitigating factor. To the contrary, her than might be which she now
position is an aggravating factor that calls for a more substantial punislunent
appropriate for an otherwise similarly situated defendant. See United States v. Sierra, 188 F.3d 798, 801-03 (7th Cir. 1999) (affirming 120-month sentence for police officer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery; finding upward sentencing adjustment for abuse of position of trust appropriate for police officer defendant because "society discourages similar conduct by punishing with greater severity those who use their position of trust to commit crimes. "), A police officer who abuses her position and betrays her loyalty to the citizens she has sworn to protect deserves a serious punislunent that will show other officers and citizens alike that there are serious consequences for engaging in criminal conduct.
The government acknowledges that the PSR writer concluded that the defendant "expressed an overwhelming degree of remorse" for her conduct. See PSR, at 10. That conclusion, however, seems unsupported by the defendant's actual statements documented in the report. While the defendant acknowledged the facts of her offense and said, "I feel really bad about it," she focused her remarks largely on the claim that she was unfairly targeted in this case, notwithstanding her admission that she voluntarily and willingly engaged in a felony offense.
CONCLUSION The United States respectfully requests that the Court sentence the defendant to a period of imprisonment, to punish her for her misconduct and to deter others who might consider committing similar crimes. Respectfully submitted,
Fraud & Public Corruption Sec' on 555 Fourth Street, N.W., Room 838 Washington, DC 20530 (202) 252-7821 firstname.lastname@example.org
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on this 20th day of July, 2011, I have caused the foregoing memorandum in aid of sentencing to be delivered to counsel for the defendant, Nikki Lotze, at the offices of Lotze Mosley, LLP, 503 D Street, NW,
I..>I..IJOLJ,HI:Ul Haray Assistant United States Attorne
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