USA v. Hector Espinoza
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [12-10235 Affirmed ] Judge: PEH , Judge: PRO , Judge: LHS Mandate pull date is 10/01/2012 [12-10235]
Date Filed: 09/10/2012
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
September 10, 2012
Lyle W. Cayce
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
HECTOR ESPINOZA, also known as Toro,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas
USDC No. 3:97-CR-257-2
Before HIGGINBOTHAM, OWEN, and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
Hector Espinoza, federal prisoner # 78037-079, appeals from the district
court’s order denying him a reduction in sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2) based on the most recent amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines
as to crack cocaine. Espinoza previously received a reduction under the prior
crack-cocaine amendment from 364 months of imprisonment to 294 months.
A district court may reduce a sentence “in the case of a defendant who has
been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has
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 R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.
Date Filed: 09/10/2012
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission.” § 3582(c)(2). We
review a decision on whether to reduce a sentence pursuant to § 3582(c)(2) for
an abuse of discretion. United States v. Carter, 595 F.3d 575, 577 (5th Cir.
2010). However, we review de novo the district court’s interpretation of the
Sentencing Guidelines and sentencing statutes. Id.
In 2008, Espinoza’s sentence was reduced when his total offense level was
reduced from 41 to 39 and his guideline range was reduced from 324-405 months
of imprisonment to 262-327 months. Applying the most recent amendment, the
marijuana equivalent of the amount of crack cocaine for which Espinoza would
be held accountable is decreased substantially, but the total marijuana
equivalency of all of the drugs places him at offense level 36. With three levels
added for Espinoza’s role in the offense, his offense level remains 39, and his
range of imprisonment remains 262-327 months. Because Espinoza’s Guideline
sentencing range remains unchanged, he is not eligible for a reduction in
sentence. See § 3582(c)(2).
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