US v. Ernest Mason
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00330-CCE-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4257]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
ERNEST JEROME MASON,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at
Greensboro. Catherine C. Eagles, District Judge. (1:15-cr-00330-CCE-1)
Submitted: March 30, 2017
Decided: April 3, 2017
Before TRAXLER and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Geoffrey Ryan Willis, WILLIS JOHNSON & NELSON PLLC, Raleigh, North Carolina,
for Appellant. Terry Michael Meinecke, Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro,
North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Ernest Jerome Mason appeals his sentence of 151 months of imprisonment for
conspiracy to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(C), 846 (2012).
Appellate counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967),
concluding that there are no meritorious issues for appeal, but questioning whether the
sentence imposed by the district court was reasonable. We affirm.
We review Mason’s sentence for reasonableness “under a deferential abuse-ofdiscretion standard.” United States v. McCoy, 804 F.3d 349, 351 (4th Cir. 2015) (quoting
Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41 (2007)), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 320 (2016). This
review entails appellate consideration of both the procedural and substantive
reasonableness of the sentence. Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. We presume that a sentence imposed
within the properly calculated Sentencing Guidelines range is reasonable. United States v.
Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th Cir. 2014).
We have reviewed the record and conclude that the court properly calculated the
Guidelines range, treated the Guidelines as advisory rather than mandatory, gave the parties
an opportunity to argue for an appropriate sentence, considered the relevant statutory
factors, selected a sentence not based on clearly erroneous facts, and sufficiently explained
the chosen sentence. In addition, the court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to vary
downward because Mason had a very serious criminal record. Finally, Mason’s sentence
of 151 months was at the bottom of the range recommended by the Guidelines. Therefore,
we conclude that Mason’s sentence is reasonable.
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In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have
found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm the judgment of the district
court. This court requires that counsel inform Mason, in writing, of the right to petition
the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Mason 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 Mason.
We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are
adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the
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