US v. Valladares

Filing 920070817

Opinion

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 06-4490 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, versus RENE VALLADARES, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Greenville. G. Ross Anderson, Jr., District Judge. (6:03-cr-00703-GRA-1) Submitted: April 6, 2007 Decided: August 17, 2007 Before MICHAEL and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Mario A. Pacella, STROM LAW FIRM, LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellant. Reginald I. Lloyd, United States Attorney, Isaac Louis Johnson, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, Greenville, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Rene Valladares pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and fifty kilograms or more of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846 (2000), and three counts of using a telephone to facilitate a felony under the Controlled Substances Act, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 843(b) (2000). He appeals his 360-month prison sentence, arguing that the district court erred by enhancing his sentence after finding that Valladares was a leader of the conspiracy. Valladares's sentence was reentered by the district court in the course of a proceeding under 28 U.S.C. 2255 (2000). He argues that the court should have conducted a formal resentencing hearing at that time. We have recently held that, in circumstances such as those present here, a formal resentencing is not necessary when the district court merely corrects a sentence pursuant to 2255. See United States v. Hadden, 475 F.3d 652, 667-69 (4th Accordingly, the only issue before us is the district of the role enhancement at Valladares's Cir. 2007). court's application original sentencing. A district court's determination of the defendant's role in the offense is reviewed for clear error. United States v. Sayles, 296 F.3d 219, 224 (4th Cir. 2002). A four-level adjustment for role in the offense is appropriate when "the defendant was an - 2 - organizer or leader of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants or was otherwise extensive." Guidelines Manual 3B1.1(a). U.S. Sentencing We have reviewed the record, the district court's findings, and the briefs of the parties on appeal, and we conclude that the district court's application of the role enhancement was not clearly erroneous. Accordingly, sentence. we affirm Valladares's conviction and We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED - 3 -

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