USA v. Jesus Vazquez
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [10-50819 Affirmed ] Judge: WED , Judge: JES , Judge: LHS Mandate pull date is 05/09/2011 for Appellant Jesus Vazquez [10-50819]
Case: 10-50819 Document: 00511448876 Page: 1 Date Filed: 04/18/2011
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
April 18, 2011
Lyle W. Cayce
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee
Defendant - Appellant
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Texas
USDC No. 3:10-CR-870-1
Before DAVIS, SMITH, and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
Jesus Vazquez appeals the 37-month sentence he received following his
guilty-plea conviction for possession with the intent to distribute more than 100
kilograms of marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a). As he did below, he
objects to the district court’s failure to award him a two-level reduction,
pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2, for his minor role in the offense.
Vazquez contends that he was entitled to the reduction because he was
only a courier and therefore far less culpable than the people who acquired the
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 R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR .
Case: 10-50819 Document: 00511448876 Page: 2 Date Filed: 04/18/2011
drugs, placed them in the trailer, and hired him as the driver. He argues that
the large quantity of drugs involved in the offense does not change the fact that
he was simply a transporter and less culpable than others.
The district court’s denial of a reduction for a mitigating role is a factual
determination that is reviewed for clear error. United States v. Villanueva, 408
F.3d 193, 203 (5th Cir. 2005). It is not sufficient for a defendant to show that he
was less involved than other participants; rather, he must show that he was
“peripheral to the advancement of the criminal activity.”
United States v.
Martinez-Larraga, 517 F.3d 258, 272 (5th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted).
As Vazquez did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his role
in the instant offense was peripheral, the district court did not clearly err by not
awarding him a minor-role adjustment. See Villanueva, 408 F.3d at 203-04 &
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