USA v. Vergara-Gonzalez

Filing 920060223

Opinion

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United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit F I L E D IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT February 23, 2006 Charles R. Fulbruge III Clerk No. 04-41743 Conference Calendar UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus JUAN MISAEL VERGARA-GONZALEZ, Defendant-Appellant. -------------------Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas USDC No. 1:04-CR-667-1 -------------------Before GARZA, DENNIS, and PRADO, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:* Juan Misael Vergara-Gonzalez appeals his sentence upon his guilty-plea conviction for illegal reentry after deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326(a) and (b)(2). Vergara-Gonzalez's appeal waiver is unenforceable because the magistrate judge advised him at his rearraignment hearing that he could appeal an illegal sentence. See, e.g., United States v. Robinson, 187 F.3d 516, 517-18 (5th Cir. 1999). Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * No. 04-41743 -2Vergara-Gonzalez contends that he is entitled to be resentenced because the district court sentenced him under a mandatory application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which is prohibited by United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). The parties agree that plain error is the proper Vergara-Gonzalez does not standard of review in this case. attempt, however, to make the showing of plain error that is required by our precedent in United States v. Mares, 402 F.3d 511, 520 n.9 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 43 (2005). Moreover, this court has rejected his arguments that a Booker error is a structural error and that such errors are presumed to be prejudicial. See Mares, 402 F.3d at 520-22; see also United States v. Malveaux, 411 F.3d 558, 560 n.9 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 194 (2005). Vergara-Gonzalez also asserts that the felony and aggravated-felony provisions of 1326(b)(1) and (2) are unconstitutional in light of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). Vergara-Gonzalez's constitutional challenge is foreclosed by Almendarez- Torres v. United States, 523 U.S. 224 (1998). Although he contends that Almendarez-Torres was incorrectly decided and that a majority of the Supreme Court would overrule Almendarez-Torres in light of Apprendi, we have repeatedly rejected such arguments on the basis that AlmendarezTorres remains binding. See United States v. Garza-Lopez, 410 F.3d 268, 276 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 298 (2005). No. 04-41743 -3Vergara-Gonzalez properly concedes that his argument is foreclosed in light of Almendarez-Torres and circuit precedent, but he raises it here to preserve it for further review. foregoing reasons, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED. For the

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