This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Ofiong Louis Sanders,
Filed March 18, 2003
Ramsey County District Court
File No. K3971762
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Jeanne L. Schleh, Assistant County Attorney, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Steven P. Russett, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue SE, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges his sentence for first-degree burglary, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by sentencing him as a dangerous offender. Because we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.
In December 1997, a jury found appellant Ofiong Louis Sanders guilty of first-degree burglary, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 1(a) (1996). The district court sentenced Sanders as a career offender under Minn. Stat. § 609.152, subd. 3 (1996), imposing a 180-month prison term.
Sanders has seven prior felony convictions. In 1992, he was convicted of receiving stolen property, attempted second-degree burglary, and two counts of first-degree burglary. In 1993, he was convicted of first-degree burglary, and in 1994, he was convicted of attempted first-degree burglary and attempted second-degree burglary.
In August 2001, Sanders petitioned the district court for postconviction relief, arguing that he did not qualify as a career offender. The state conceded that Sanders did not qualify as a career offender but moved the district court to resentence Sanders as a dangerous offender under Minn. Stat. § 609.152, subd. 2 (1996). Without any hearing, the district court again imposed a 180-month sentence, this time under the dangerous-offender statute. Sanders appealed, arguing that his due-process rights were violated when the district court, without a hearing, resentenced him as a dangerous offender. This court reversed and remanded, holding that Sanders was entitled to a full hearing on whether he qualified as a dangerous offender. State v. Sanders, 644 N.W.2d 483, 489 (Minn. App. 2002).
After a July 2002 resentencing hearing, the district court again sentenced Sanders as a dangerous offender and imposed a 180-month sentence. This appeal follows.
Sanders argues that the record does not support the district court’s finding that he is a danger to public safety. For purposes of the dangerous-offender statute, this court will uphold a district court’s determination that an offender is a danger to public safety if the finding is supported by the record. State v. Branson, 529 N.W.2d 1, 4 (Minn. App. 1995), review denied (Minn. Apr. 18, 1995). The dangerous-offender statute under which Sanders was sentenced provides:
[The district court] may impose an aggravated durational departure from the presumptive imprisonment sentence * * * if the offender was at least 18 years old at the time the felony was committed, and:
(1) the court determines on the record at the time of sentencing that the offender has two or more prior convictions for violent crimes; and
(2) the court finds that the offender is a danger to public safety and specifies on the record the basis for the finding, which may include:
(i) the offender’s past criminal behavior, such as the offender’s high frequency rate of criminal activity or juvenile adjudications, or long involvement in criminal activity including juvenile adjudications; or
(ii) the fact that the present offense of conviction involved an aggravating factor that would justify a durational departure under the sentencing guidelines.
Minn. Stat. § 609.152, subd. 2 (1996).
Sanders concedes that (1) he was more than 18 years old when he committed the burglary for which he was sentenced as a dangerous offender and (2) he has two or more prior convictions for “violent crimes” and that the district court made such a determination on the record. The district court found that Sanders is “a danger to the public safety” and his “criminal history * * * shows a high frequency of violent crime.” The record shows that Sanders has seven prior felony convictions, and Sanders does not dispute this.
Sanders argues, however, that his seven prior felony convictions do not support the district court’s finding that his criminal history shows a high frequency of violent crime because the circumstances of those convictions did not involve violence or threats of violence. He contends that each of the prior convictions involved a property offense in which he avoided confrontation by fleeing once his presence was detected. But the statute requires a “high frequency rate of criminal activity * * * or long involvement in criminal activity” and does not require, to satisfy that element of the dangerous-offender statute, that the criminal activity involve violence or threats of violence. See Minn. Stat. § 609.152, subd. 2(1)(i). Further, even if the statute required a high frequency of violent crime, “violent crime” under the statute includes completed and attempted first-degree burglary, see id., subd. 1(d) (1996), and such offenses account for four of Sanders’s seven prior convictions. The record therefore supports the district court’s finding that Sanders is a danger to public safety.