US v. Leon Bessant, Jr.


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:09-cr-00136-WO-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [998536860] [10-4380]

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US v. Leon Bessant, Jr. Doc. 0 Case: 10-4380 Document: 34 Date Filed: 03/03/2011 Page: 1 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 10-4380 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. LEON BESSANT, JR., Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at Greensboro. William L. Osteen, Jr., District Judge. (1:09-cr-00136-WO-1) Submitted: February 3, 2011 Decided: March 3, 2011 Before MOTZ, KEENAN, and WYNN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. George E. Crump, III, Rockingham, North Carolina, for Appellant. Randall Stuart Galyon, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Case: 10-4380 Document: 34 Date Filed: 03/03/2011 Page: 2 PER CURIAM: Leon Bessant, Jr., appeals from his conviction and sixty-month sentence following a guilty plea to two counts of distribution of cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C.A. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B) (West 1999 & Supp. 2010). On appeal, Bessant's counsel has filed a brief in accordance with Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). no meritorious issues for Counsel states that there are but questions whether the appeal, district court complied with Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 in accepting Bessant's guilty plea and whether the district court erred in sentencing Bessant. Bessant was advised of his right to file a We affirm. whether the district court pro se brief, but has not done so. Bessant first questions complied with Fed. R. Crim. P. 11, by sufficiently informing Bessant that he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment on both counts. move in the district court to Because Bessant did not his guilty plea, we withdraw review any error in the Rule 11 hearing for plain error. States v. Martinez, 277 F.3d 517, 525 (4th Cir. 2002). United Our review of the appellate record convinces us that the district court fully complied with the mandates of Rule 11 in accepting Bessant's guilty plea. In doing so, the district court properly informed Bessant of the nature of the charges and penalties he faced, explicitly stating that he faced a term of 2 Case: 10-4380 Document: 34 Date Filed: 03/03/2011 Page: 3 imprisonment district voluntary of not less that than the a five years. plea Moreover, was knowing See the and court and ensured guilty factual supported by basis. United States v. DeFusco, 949 F.2d 114, 116, 119-20 (4th Cir. 1991). We therefore affirm his conviction. Bessant erred in imposing reasonableness, also questions whether the district court sentence. applying an This court reviews a sentence for abuse of discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007); see also United States v. Llamas, 599 F.3d 381, 387 (4th Cir. 2010). This review requires appellate consideration of both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of a sentence. 51. In determining procedural reasonableness, we consider whether the district court properly calculated the defendant's advisory Guidelines range, considered the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) (2006) factors, analyzed any arguments presented by the parties, and sufficiently explained the selected sentence. specifically questions whether the district Id. Bessant erred in Gall, 552 U.S. at court calculating his criminal history category by including a state conviction that occurred after the conduct, but before imposition of sentence, in the present case. Although Bessant's sentence for the state narcotics conviction was imposed in 2007, after the commencement of the instant offense, it is nonetheless 3 Case: 10-4380 Document: 34 Date Filed: 03/03/2011 Page: 4 a "prior sentence" because it was for conduct unrelated to the instant offense and was imposed prior to the January 7, 2010 sentencing for the instant offense. Manual 4A1.2, cmt. n.1 (2008). U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Bessant's criminal history category thus was properly calculated. Because Bessant's the record we reveals no procedural the error in is sentencing, conclude In that sentence procedurally pursuant to reasonable. the statutory addition, mandatory Bessant's minimum is sentence per se substantively reasonable. 210, 224 (4th Cir. 2008). United States v. Farrior, 535 F.3d Accordingly, we affirm Bessant's sentence as reasonable. We have examined the entire record in accordance with the requirements of Anders and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. court. writing, Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court the requires to that counsel the inform Bessant, of in the This of right petition Supreme Court United States for further review. If Bessant 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 was served on Bessant. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are 4 Case: 10-4380 Document: 34 Date Filed: 03/03/2011 Page: 5 adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 5

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