US v. Samuel Arzate
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00292-NCT-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4170]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff – Appellee,
SAMUEL SAUCEDO ARZATE,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle
District of North Carolina, at Greensboro.
N. Carlton Tilley,
Jr., Senior District Judge. (1:15-cr-00292-NCT-1)
December 15, 2016
December 19, 2016
Before SHEDD, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Brian Michael Aus, Durham, 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Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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stating that there are no meritorious issues, but questioning
quantity at sentencing.
Arzate was informed of his right to
file a pro se supplemental brief, but has not done so.
Arzate contends that the district court plainly erred when
outbuilding on his property into 2762.28 grams (2.76 kilograms)
of methamphetamine for sentencing purposes.
Because Arzate did
sentencing, our review is limited to plain error.
States v. Hamilton, 701 F.3d 404, 410 (4th Cir. 2012).
establish plain error, the appealing party must show that an
error (1) was made, (2) is plain (i.e., clear or obvious), and
(3) affects substantial rights.”
F.3d 572, 577 (4th Cir. 2010).
United States v. Lynn, 592
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“[T]he government must prove the drug quantity attributable
to a particular defendant by a preponderance of the evidence.”
United States v. Bell, 667 F.3d 431, 441 (4th Cir. 2011).
review the district court’s calculation of the quantity of drugs
attributable to a defendant for sentencing purposes for clear
United States v. Crawford, 734 F.3d 339, 342 (4th Cir.
2013); see also United States v. Alvarado Perez, 609 F.3d 609,
612 (4th Cir. 2010) (when assessing a challenge to the district
factual findings for clear error and legal conclusions de novo).
conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
F.3d at 342 (internal quotation marks omitted).
relevant information without regard to its admissibility under
the rules of evidence applicable at trial, provided that the
information has sufficient indicia of reliability to support its
Crawford, 734 F.3d at 342 (quoting [U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines Manual] § 6A1.3(a)).
“Where there is no
drug seizure . . . the sentencing judge shall approximate the
controlled substance . . . .”
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USSG § 2D1.1 cmt. n.5.
acknowledged that sentencing courts may convert money considered
to be the proceeds of drug trafficking into a drug quantity for
See United States v. Kiulin, 360 F.3d 456,
461 (4th Cir. 2004) (cash found alongside drugs was converted
into drug quantity based on the estimated cost of an Ecstasy
pill); United States v. Hicks, 948 F.2d 877, 883 (4th Cir. 1991)
(drug-related money may be included in relevant conduct).
The cash was seized from an outbuilding and found next to 3392
grams of methamphetamine.
Also seized from the property was a
metal cooking pot containing a mixture of liquid methamphetamine
methamphetamine, a plastic bag of rocks that tested positive for
a cutting agent, an additional cutting agent for cocaine, and
assume that the cash located in the outbuilding near a package
of 3.3 kilograms of methamphetamine was there as a result of
Based on the record, we conclude that the
district court’s finding that the $85,200 in seized currency
converted into 2.76 kilograms of methamphetamine was not plain
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record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for
We therefore affirm Arzate’s conviction and sentence.
This court requires that counsel inform Arzate, in writing, of
the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for
If Arzate 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
Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof
was served on Arzate.
We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal
this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
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