gavel

A Baton Rouge man's 17 ½-year prison term for cocaine trafficking was thrown out Friday by a federal appeals court that cited his "extraordinary cooperation" with the government and the unreasonableness of the sentence.

Broderick D. Mathes, 41, must be resentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered.

A week and a half earlier, the appellate court affirmed the 27-year prison term that Dick gave Mathes' brother, Wilbert Mathes, 42, of Zachary, in the drug trafficking case. The judge also ordered Wilbert Mathes to forfeit $593,000 in drug proceeds.

Broderick Mathes pleaded guilty in the case and testified for the government at his brother's 2016 trial, the 5th Circuit noted.

After pleading guilty, the appeals court said, the government discovered evidence that Broderick Mathes did not commit a firearm office to which he pleaded guilty, which lowered his federal sentencing guideline range from an initial calculation of 188 to 235 months, to a revised range of 70 to 87 months.

"Despite Broderick Mathes' extraordinary cooperation with the Government at the risk of his life, the district court gave him a ... sentence more than ten years above the United States Sentencing Guidelines recommended maximum," the appellate court stated.

The government agreed that Broderick Mathes' sentence was unreasonable, the appeals court added.

Federal prosecutors said Wilbert Mathes led a large drug enterprise that included his brother and involved shipping cocaine from Houston to Baton Rouge and selling it here.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.