FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MAINE [Hon. Jon Levy, U.S. District Judge]
Glaser and Law Office of Lenore Glaser on brief for
B. Frank, United States Attorney, and Benjamin M. Block,
Assistant United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.
Lynch, Selya and Thompson, Circuit Judges.
Dale Pinkham, Sr., challenges his 240-month incarcerative
sentence. He strives to convince us that the district court
held him responsible for an incorrect drug quantity and, in
the bargain, improperly counted two prior convictions when
calculating his criminal history score. We are not persuaded
by either argument and, therefore, summarily affirm his
this appeal follows the appellant's guilty plea, we draw
the facts from the change-of-plea colloquy, the uncontested
portions of the presentence investigation report (PSI
Report), and the record of the disposition hearing. See
United States v. Fields, 858 F.3d 24,
27 (1st Cir. 2017); United States v.
Dietz, 950 F.2d 50, 51 (1st Cir. 1991).
conviction and sentence sub judice stem from the
appellant's operation of what might be termed a family
business: a drug-trafficking conspiracy that involved his
sons (Robert, Raymond, and Dale, Jr.) and his romantic
partner of 30 years (Louise Cook). Beginning around 2012, the
appellant ran this conspiracy from his home in Gorham, Maine.
During its embryonic stages, the appellant typically obtained
10 to 20 grams of heroin once every two months from a
Boston-based supplier. Over time the conspiracy matured, with
the result that the appellant's purchases increased in
frequency, eventually becoming monthly occurrences. The
amounts of heroin handled by the conspiracy escalated as
well, rising to roughly 200 to 400 grams per month.
apart from promoting drug use, the appellant's criminal
activities had a deleterious effect on the community in which
he lived. He encouraged his customers to commit burglaries
and bring him items that he prized. In this way, the
appellant amassed stockpiles of firearms, jewelry, tools, and
chickens ultimately came home to roost. On July 22, 2015, a
federal grand jury sitting in the District of Maine returned
an indictment charging the appellant with a laundry list of
crimes. While the appellant was being held in pretrial
detention, he reached out to family members, soliciting them
to threaten potential witnesses.
season, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment,
which charged the appellant in 13 separate counts. Of
particular pertinence for present purposes, the superseding
indictment charged him with conspiracy to distribute heroin,
see 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846 (count
one); conspiracy to possess stolen firearms, see 18
U.S.C. §§ 371, 922(j) (count four); and attempted
witness tampering, see id. § 1512(a)(2) (count
twelve). The appellant initially maintained his innocence. On
September 6, 2016, however, he reversed his course and
entered a guilty plea, pursuant to a plea agreement, to
counts one, four, and twelve. The government agreed to
dismiss the remaining 10 counts at sentencing.
Report recommended that the appellant be held responsible for
3.23 kilograms of heroin, which corresponded to a base
offense level of 32. See USSG §2D1.1(c)(4)
(Drug Quantity Table). Notwithstanding the appellant's
protest that this figure represented a "significant
overestimate of the drug quantity involved," the
district court adopted the drug-quantity calculation and -
after making other adjustments not challenged here - set the
appellant's total offense level at 39. The court also
adopted the PSI Report's recommended criminal history
score of six and placed the appellant in criminal history
category III. Although these determinations yielded a
guideline sentencing range of 324 to 405 months, the court
weighed the factors limned in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and
concluded that a below-the-range incarcerative sentence of
240 months was sufficient to achieve the purposes of
sentencing. The court imposed such a downwardly variant
sentence, and this timely appeal followed.