PORTLAND — Ishmael Douglas has re-pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit a robbery in a home invasion and robbery in Minot in 2014 and has been resentenced to fewer years, after the court dismissed a firearms charge.

In 2016, Douglas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a robbery and using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime or crime of violence and was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison, a sentence that took into consideration seven previous convictions and a then-pending manslaughter charge in Massachusetts.

On Thursday, Douglas was resentenced in U.S. District Court to serve 80 months in prison and pay $100 in restitution.

The resentencing was prompted by a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found a clause in the federal law used to decide sentencing on violent crimes was “unconstitutionally vague,” according to court records. Consequently, the court dismissed the firearms charge, reversing that conviction, and Douglas’ case was sent back to federal court for reconsideration.

In his motion for resentencing filed early this month, Douglas argued his sentence should be figured only on the single conviction and not both convictions, and he asked that the court consider his willingness to testify against his co-defendants in this case in a positive light.

Douglas, who is 33 years old but was 28 at the time of the crime, could have been sentenced up to 20 years in prison and fined $250,000 under federal sentencing guidelines.

Two other charges against him, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm, were dismissed as part of his 2016 plea deal.

According to prosecutors, between July 26 and Aug. 2 in 2014, Douglas conspired with three other people to commit an armed robbery of drugs and drug trafficking proceeds from the home of Ross Tardif in Minot.

At the time, Douglas and the others believed the homeowner was engaged in illegal drug trafficking and that they would find oxycodone and cash at the house.

During the robbery, Cyril Anduze of Auburn and Jamel Horrobin of New York City suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene. Tardif was not home at the time.

The others involved with the crime were Kourtney Williams of Boston and Lewiston, Victor Lara of Augusta and Heidi Hutchinson of Lewiston.

According to the court, on Aug. 2 Hutchinson drove Williams, Lara and Douglas to an area close to Tardif’s home on Garfield Road and dropped them off. While Hutchinson waited in the car, the three men entered the home, threatened Anduze and Horrobin and another man with “force, violence and feature of immediate and future injury.”

During the robbery, the men were armed — Williams and Douglas carried pistols and Lara carried a crowbar.

The three victims were ordered to the ground and were restrained with zip ties, and later assaulted with the crowbar.

Douglas, Williams and Lara searched the home and pressured the victims for the combination to a safe, which they said they did not know.

At one point, according to the court, Douglas went into the homeowner’s bedroom and rummaged around, finding a pistol on the bed and used that to threaten the victims.

Despite pressure to tell Douglas and the others the combination to the safe, the victims didn’t know the combination and Douglas, Williams and Lara left.

One ounce of marijuana was taken by the men and kept in a basement storage unit with the pistols at Hutchinson’s home in Lewiston for several days following the robbery, according to the court.

In making the case for a lesser sentence, Douglas’ attorney, Heather Gonzales of Portland, argued the fact that Douglas testified against Williams and Lara is a matter of public record and “accessible to federal inmates through the law libraries where they are institutionalized.”

As a result, she explained, word spread quickly in the 500-population prison in Pennsylvania where Douglas is housed that he testified against his co-defendants and he has been targeted and threatened as a result.

“The public record of his testimony has made the circumstances of his incarceration exponentially harsher than it otherwise would be,” Gonzales argued, and “he is ostracized by the inmates and some corrections officers.”

In addition to being threatened, Gonzales argued, Douglas “cannot participate in leisure activities or sports because the other inmates do not want to associate with him and some want to physically harm him. Some inmates who have associated with him have themselves been assaulted.”

Douglas has found some safety working in the prison kitchen, she said, but otherwise “he is isolated and living a far different existence than the average inmate” because of his willingness to assist prosecutors through his testimony.

Despite these difficulties, she argued, Douglas has not reacted with violence and is taking steps to rehabilitate, including completing a drug education program.

Gonzales had asked the court to consider a sentence of no more than 81 months, which would be a reduction of more than two years, and three years of supervised release.

The cases against Williams and Lara have also been resolved.

Williams was found guilty of using a firearm during the home invasion and, in 2017, was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison, plus five years of supervised release after his prison term.

Lara was also found guilty at trial. In 2017, he was sentenced to 184 months behind bars and five years of supervised release on charges of interstate robbery conspiracy and using a firearm during a violent crime.


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