US v. Mandy Whitman

Filing 920100317

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-4518 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff Appellee, v. MANDY RAE WHITMAN, Defendant Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Florence. Terry L. Wooten, District Judge. (4:08-cr-00367-TLW-4) Submitted: February 24, 2010 Decided: March 17, 2010 Before MICHAEL, KING, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. D. Craig Brown, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellant. Arthur Bradley Parham, Assistant United States Attorney, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Mandy Rae Whitman pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846 (2006), and was sentenced to 135 months in prison. accordance with Anders v. Counsel has filed a brief in 386 U.S. 738 (1967), California, stating that after a review of the record, he has found no meritorious issues for appeal. The Anders brief nonetheless highlights the fact that Whitman's sentence was not based on a one-to-one crack to powder cocaine ratio, as had been advocated by defense counsel and the Government at sentencing. has not filed a pro se supplemental brief despite Whitman receiving notice that she may do so, and the Government declined to file a responsive brief. Finding no error, we affirm. In the absence of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea, we review the adequacy of the guilty plea pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 for plain error. United States v. Martinez, 277 F.3d 517, 525 (4th Cir. 2002). 11 hearing reveals Rule that 11's the A review of Whitman's Rule court substantially plea with was full We district complied knowingly, with requirements. and intelligently Whitman's made, voluntarily, knowledge of the consequences attendant to her guilty plea. therefore find that no plain error occurred and affirm Whitman's conviction. 2 We also affirm Whitman's sentence. The district court properly assessed Whitman's criminal history as category IV and calculated a total offense level of thirty, yielding a Guidelines range of 135-168 months. Moreover, at sentencing, the district court entertained counsel's argument regarding the weight that should be afforded the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) (2006) factors, thoroughly allowed Whitman the an opportunity 3553(a) to allocute, before and considered factors imposing Whitman's sentence. explained sentence accordance its was We find that the district court adequately for imposing to Whitman's a sentence, process upon by the in the rationale "selected law," pursuant and the reasoned relied with reasons district court are plausible and justify the sentence imposed. See United States v. Pauley, 511 F.3d 468, 473-76 (4th Cir. 2007); see also United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2009) (recognizing that the district court must "place on the record an individualized assessment based on the particular facts of the case before it" and a that the "individualized to the assessment . . . must provide rationale tailored particular case at hand and [be] adequate to permit meaningful appellate review"). Moreover, Whitman's challenge to the crack-to-powder cocaine sentencing disparity is without merit. This court has repeatedly rejected claims that the sentencing disparity between 3 powder cocaine or and due crack offenses See 1997); violates States either v. v. equal protection 108 F.3d process. (4th Cir. United United Perkins, Burgos, 512, 518 States 94 F.3d 849, 876-77 (4th Cir. 1996); United States v. Fisher, 58 F.3d 96, 99-100 (4th Cir. 1995). Further, to the extent Whitman seeks to have this court reconsider these decisions, a panel of this court cannot overrule the decision of a prior panel. 2005). United States v. Collins, 415 F.3d 304, 311 (4th Cir. Accordingly, we affirm Whitman's sentence. See United States v. Allen, 491 F.3d 178, 193 (4th Cir. 2007) (recognizing that this court applies an appellate presumption of reasonableness to a within-Guidelines sentence). In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm the district court's judgment. This court requires that counsel inform Whitman, in writing, of the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Whitman requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel's motion must state that a copy thereof We dispense with oral argument because was served on Whitman. the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the 4 materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 5

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