US v. Arroyo-Duarte

Filing 920100226

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 07-4663 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. EVELIO ARROYO-DUARTE, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Harrisonburg. Samuel G. Wilson, District Judge. (5:06-cr-00050-sgw) Submitted: January 22, 2010 Decided: February 26, 2010 Before NIEMEYER and Senior Circuit Judge. MICHAEL, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Affirmed in part; dismissed in part by unpublished per curiam opinion. Michael T. Hemenway, THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL T. HEMENWAY, Charlottesville, Virginia, for Appellant. Julia C. Dudley, United States Attorney, Donald R. Wolthuis, Assistant United States Attorney, Brandon Crook, Third Year Practice Law Student, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Evelio Arroyo-Duarte pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of methamphetamine in violation and of a 21 measurable U.S.C. quantity 846 of amphetamine, (2006), distribution or possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of amphetamine, (West in violation 2009), of 21 U.S.C.A. or 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C) Supp. distribution possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of methamphetamine, (b)(1)(B) (West in Supp. violation 2009), of 21 U.S.C.A. or 841(a)(1), with distribution possession intent to distribute amphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.A. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C) (West Supp. 2009), and possession of a firearm with a removed serial number, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(k) (2006). The district court sentenced Arroyo-Duarte to 135 months= incarceration for the first four counts and 60 months for the fifth count, all to run concurrently. On court erred to appeal, by 18 Arroyo-Duarte his motion argues for a that the district departure Sentencing denying U.S.C. downward U.S. pursuant 3553(f) (2006) and Guidelines Manual 5C1.2.1 (2008). The Government has moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that Arroyo-Duarte knowingly and intelligently waived his right to appeal his sentence imposed under the Sentencing Guidelines. 2 A defendant may, in a valid plea agreement, waive the right to appeal. Cir. 1990). United States v. Wiggins, 905 F.2d 51, 53 (4th Any such waiver must be made by a "`knowing and United intelligent decision to forgo the right to appeal.'" States v. Broughton-Jones, 71 F.3d 1143, 1146 (4th Cir. 1995) (quoting United States v. Attar, 38 F.3d 727, 731 (4th Cir. 1994)). Whether a defendant has effectively waived his right to United appeal is an issue of law this court reviews de novo. States v. Blick, 408 F.3d 162, 168 (4th Cir. 2005). An knowing and appellate voluntary waiver if is generally district considered court to be the specifically questioned the defendant concerning the waiver provision during the Rule 11 colloquy and the record indicates that the defendant understood the full significance of the waiver and was not denied effective assistance of counsel. See United States v. Our review of the Johnson, 410 F.3d 137, 151 (4th Cir. 2005). record leads us to conclude that Arroyo-Duarte knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea agreement and thus his appellate waiver is valid and enforceable. The plea agreement provided that Arroyo-Duarte waived his right to a jury trial and any claims of ineffective assistance of counsel known by him and not raised at the time of sentencing. Further, the agreement stated: 3 I agree that after my full and fair sentencing hearing, I will not then appeal any sentencing guidelines factors or the Court's application of the sentencing guidelines factors to the facts of my case. I am knowingly and voluntarily waiving any right to appeal sentencing guidelines factors, and am voluntarily willing to rely on the Court in sentencing me under the Sentencing Guidelines. Arroyo-Duarte argues on appeal that the district court erred by denying his motion for a downward departure pursuant to the safety valve provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3553(f) 5C1.2 and USSG 5C1.2. Arroyo-Duarte argues that USSG provides eligibility to a defendant who, among other factors, was not an "organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others" in a criminal offense involving five or more participants, and his offense involved fewer than five. To the extent that Arroyo-Duarte contests the district court's application of USSG 5C1.2, his waiver forecloses his argument on appeal. To the extent that this argument is a challenge to the application of a statute and not a Guidelines determination, the district court did not err in denying the motion for a downward departure. statutory The legislative limitation on the applicability of mandatory minimums in certain cases, generally referred to as the "safety valve" provision, directs district courts in limited circumstances to impose a sentence pursuant to the Sentencing Guidelines regardless of any statutory mandatory minimum sentence. See 18 U.S.C. 3553(f). 4 This subsection can only apply where, among other factors, "the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise." term "organizer, any 3553(f)(4). manager, who or Under this section, the supervisor an USSG of others" for an leader, includes aggravated (n.5). defendant under received 3B1.1. adjustment 5C1.2, role USSG comment. Arroyo-Duarte under USSG 3B1.1(c). did, in fact, receive an adjustment to this Arroyo-Duarte stipulated adjustment in his plea agreement. "To qualify for an adjustment under this section, the defendant must have been the organizer, leader, manager, or USSG supervisor 3B1.1, of one or more other participants." comment. (n.2). Therefore, contrary to Arroyo-Duarte's argument, a defendant found to be in charge of simply one other participant is ineligible for the safety valve application. Because Arroyo-Duarte does not dispute that he supervised at least one other participant, and indeed stipulated to an aggravated role adjustment under USSG 3B1.1, he does not satisfy the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 3553(f). application. Accordingly, the district court properly denied its 5 In his brief, Arroyo-Duarte additionally contends that the plea agreement of the did safety not preclude him from and requesting district application valve provision, the court erred in requiring him to withdraw his guilty plea in order to argue for the safety valve application. district court correctly interpreted the plea Because the agreement as precluding application of the safety valve, it was not error to require Arroyo-Duarte to choose between proceeding in conformity with the terms of the agreement or withdrawing the agreement entirely. Accordingly, we grant the Government's motion to dismiss in part as to the claims raised under the Sentencing Guidelines, and deny the Government's motion to dismiss in part and affirm the sentence as to Arroyo-Duarte's statutory claim. 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 IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART 6

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