Last week, criminal defense attorney Matthew Galluzzo successfully persuaded a federal judge in Manhattan to sentence his client to a very favorable sentence. The client was guilty of selling fentanyl that led to the overdose death of a customer. Though there was no mandatory minimum for this offense, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines recommended a sentence of between 234 and 240 months in prison (i.e. approximately 20 years). The client had an extensive criminal record including, among other things, two prior felonies for drug trafficking and a conviction for a violent felony assault.
Mr. Galluzzo worked with a social worker to describe the client’s extremely difficult upbringing, which included parental abuse, poverty, homelessness, the foster care system, and drug abuse as a pre-teen. Mr. Galluzzo convinced the judge that pursuant to the recent Second Circuit decision in US v. Gibson, the client was not a Career Offender under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines despite his two prior convictions for NY Penal Law Section 220.39, resulting in his classification as a Criminal History Category IV instead of VI. He also convincingly described the overdose as a terrible accident and expressed his client’s remorse to the judge.
Ultimately, the Court granted a significant downward variance and gave him a sentence equal to roughly half that recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines, 120 months (10 years). The client was pleased with the result and felt that his voice had been heard. The case was US v. Huertero, 20-cr-580 (ER) before Judge Ramos.