An Enfield man who supplied cocaine to “a prolific and violent drug dealer,” according to a federal prosecutor, and had a handgun in his bedroom while on probation for a gun crime — but also held a steady, legitimate job — was sentenced Friday to two years and 10 months in prison.
Ramon Sanchez, 28, who is known as “Rome,” received the 34-month sentence from Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in U.S. District Court in Hartford, U.S. Attorney John H. Durham announced.
Sanchez pleaded guilty in August to a single count of conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Prosecutor Brian P. Leaming made clear in his sentencing memorandum that Sanchez could also have been charged with a gun crime for possessing the .357-caliber revolver found in his bedroom.
The two sides agreed that federal guidelines called for Sanchez to get between 30 and 37 months imprisonment. The prosecutor wrote that Sanchez agreed not to seek a sentence outside that range in exchange for not being charged with a gun crime.
Sanchez’s lawyer, E. Gregory Cerritelli of New Haven, argued in his sentencing memo that Sanchez should receive a 30-month prison sentence.
One of the defense lawyer’s arguments for the lowest possible sentence was that, when he was arrested last year, Sanchez had been working for 18 months as a “lift operator” at a grocery warehouse in Cheshire, roughly an hour’s drive from his Enfield home.
He described Sanchez as “a working family man who was supplementing his income through selling drugs.
“He did not have a lavish lifestyle, fancy cars, or a large home,” the defense lawyer continued. “Most of his days, he went to work, came home, and played with his children.”
The defense lawyer also wrote that Sanchez has three children and a “long-term union” with his fiancée, who talks with him every day and has given him “unwavering support” throughout the drug case.
Cerritelli added that Sanchez has received no disciplinary tickets in his more than 16 months in the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and has a job working in the jail’s kitchen, which Cerritelli called “a coveted assignment.”
But the prosecutor wrote that Sanchez “is on a dangerous path.” He recited a criminal history that started with a felony conviction for violating a family violence protective order in 2012, for which Sanchez received only 60 days of immediate prison time but faced the possibility of almost five more years in prison if he violated probation conditions.
Sanchez did violate the conditions by committing the subsequent gun crime, for which he was arrested in May 2013, according to the prosecutor. He got 30 months in prison for the probation violation and a concurrent two-year sentence for the gun crime.
Yet he committed the federal drug crime during his next term of probation.
“It is quite clear that Sanchez does not respect the criminal justice system,” the prosecutor wrote.
Although Sanchez has been treated for alcohol and cocaine abuse, he has no other documented mental illness, according to the prosecutor. But he added that Sanchez’s youth was “punctuated with various behavioral issues, some of which may be attributed to his learning disability.”
He acknowledged that Sanchez has done well at Wyatt, participating in classes and programs, and that he has “has a comparatively strong employment history.”
In a letter to the judge, Sanchez explained some of the process that led to his drug arrest: “I thought that I could hang out with old friends without getting caught up. Then I thought I could use drugs ‘socially’ and control it. Then I thought I could make a little extra money without getting greedy.”