US v. Gary Lyle


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:14-cr-00377-NCT-24. Copies to all parties and the district court. [1000005226]. [16-4276]

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Appeal: 16-4276 Doc: 36 Filed: 01/18/2017 Pg: 1 of 5 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4276 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff – Appellee, v. GARY WAYNE LYLES, Defendant - Appellant.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. (1:14-cr-00377-NCT-24) Submitted: December 21, 2016 Decided: January 18, 2017 Before WILKINSON, SHEDD, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Elisa C. Salmon, SALMON LAW FIRM, LLP, Lillington, North Carolina, for Appellant. Ripley Rand, United States Attorney, Terry M. Meinecke, Assistant United States Attorney, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4276 Doc: 36 Filed: 01/18/2017 Pg: 2 of 5 PER CURIAM: Gary Wayne Lyles pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture sentence. methamphetamine. On appeal, he He argues received that procedurally and substantively unreasonable. We review defendant’s sentence is We affirm. of discretion. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007). In reviewing district court’s sentence his 82-month abuse a a an decision to for an apply a sentencing enhancement, “[w]e accord due deference to a district court’s application of the sentencing guidelines.” United States v. Steffen, 741 F.3d 411, 414 (4th Cir. 2013). We review the district court’s factual determinations for clear error. However, “if the issue turns primarily on the Id. legal interpretation of a guideline term, the standard moves closer to de novo review.” Id. (alterations and internal quotation marks omitted). The district court imposed a two-level enhancement for the unlawful transportation, treatment, storage, or disposal of a hazardous waste, under § 2D1.11(b)(3)(B) (2014). U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual For the enhancement to apply, the defendant’s conduct must violate one of several environmental statutes, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d) (2012). USSG § 2D1.11 cmt. n.4. 2 Lyles Appeal: 16-4276 Doc: 36 asserts that Filed: 01/18/2017 the district Pg: 3 of 5 court erred in applying this enhancement. We assume, without deciding, that the court erred in its determination. enhancement, Even if “harmless the error court review erred in assessing applies to a the district court’s procedural sentencing errors made during its Guidelines calculation.” United States v. Gomez-Jimenez, 750 F.3d 370, 382 (4th Cir. 2014). Thus, “we commonly assume, without deciding, an error in performing harmless error inquiry.” v. Savillon-Matute, 636 F.3d 119, 123 (4th United States Cir. 2011). A “Guidelines error is harmless if we believe (1) the district court would have reached the same result even if it had decided the guidelines issue the other way, and (2) the sentence would be [substantively] reasonable even if the guidelines issue had been decided in the defendant’s favor.” United States v. Parral-Dominguez, 794 F.3d 440, 447 (4th Cir. 2015) (alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted). Even assuming that the application of the USSG § 2D1.11(b)(3)(B) enhancement was in error, that error was harmless. Although “backed out” the district court the increased two applied offense the enhancement, levels because it other defendants involved in the same conspiracy did not receive the same enhancement. Guidelines range The without court sentenced consideration 3 Lyles of the based on the enhancement. Appeal: 16-4276 Doc: 36 Filed: 01/18/2017 Pg: 4 of 5 Thus, any potential error from applying the enhancement is moot and harmless. Lyles See Parral-Dominguez, 794 F.3d at 447. also argues that his 82-month sentence is substantively reasonable because it is higher than necessary to meet the considerations of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors under the totality of the circumstances. (2012) Lyles argues that he had a limited criminal history consisting of relatively minor offenses, that prior to his methamphetamine addiction he had a solid and stable lifestyle, and that after receiving drug rehabilitation, he would be an unlikely recidivist. If a sentence is free of “significant procedural error,” as is the case here, we review it for substantive reasonableness, “tak[ing] into account the totality of the circumstances.” Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. “Any sentence that is within or below a properly Guidelines calculated reasonable.” Cir. 2014). range is presumptively United States v. Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th “Such a presumption can only be rebutted by showing that the sentence is unreasonable when measured against the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.” Lyles has below-Guidelines not Id. rebutted sentence is the presumption substantively that reasonable. his The district court considered that Lyles did not “offend[] greatly,” and that Lyles sincerely took responsibility for his offense. The court stated that it felt 4 “optimistic” about Lyles’ Appeal: 16-4276 Doc: 36 Filed: 01/18/2017 Pg: 5 of 5 potential when listening to him allocute. Lyles’ employment history and limited The court also noted criminal history considered the need for correctional drug treatment. and The court also stated that the methamphetamine offense involved a serious drug and a serious problem. Viewing the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that Lyles has failed to overcome the presumption of reasonableness accorded his below-Guidelines sentence. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment. dispense with contentions are oral argument adequately because presented in the the facts We and legal materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 5

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