USA v. Juan Esparza
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [15-41106 Affirmed] Judge: PEH, Judge: ECP, Judge: CH. Mandate pull date is 02/02/2017 [15-41106]
Date Filed: 01/12/2017
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
January 12, 2017
Lyle W. Cayce
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JUAN MANUEL ESPARZA,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Texas
USDC No. 5:08-CR-40-1
Before HIGGINBOTHAM, PRADO, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM: *
Juan Manuel Esparza, federal prisoner # 67544-079, appeals the denial
of a reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) of the 17-year prison sentence
imposed for his guilty plea convictions of conspiring to possess with intent to
distribute, and possessing with intent to distribute, more than five kilograms
of cocaine. He argues that the district court erred by construing his pro se
letter seeking appointment of counsel as a § 3582(c)(2) motion and denying him
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 R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH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.
Date Filed: 01/12/2017
a reduction without written reasons and without considering the factors in 18
U.S.C. § 3553(a) or his post-sentencing rehabilitation and training.
We review the district court’s interpretation of the guidelines and
sentencing statutes de novo. United States v. Carter, 595 F.3d 575, 577 (5th
Cir. 2010). Esparza was not eligible for a reduction because his sentence was
not “based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the
Sentencing Commission.” § 3582(c)(2). Rather, the district court sentenced
Esparza to 17 years of imprisonment based on his binding agreement under
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). See Freeman v. United States,
564 U.S. 522, 534-40 (2011) (Sotomayor, J., concurring); United States v.
Benitez, 822 F.3d 807, 809-12 (5th Cir. 2016). Therefore, we affirm the district
court’s denial of a sentence reduction. See 28 U.S.C. § 2111; United States v.
Gonzalez-Balderas, 105 F.3d 981, 984 (5th Cir. 1997). To the extent that
Esparza challenges the district court’s denial of his request for appointment of
counsel, a § 3582(c)(2) movant has no such right, United States v. Whitebird,
55 F.3d 1007, 1010-11 (5th Cir. 1995), and the interests of justice did not
warrant a discretionary appointment given his statutory ineligibility for a
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