USA v. Arturo Garza
Per Curiam OPINION filed : AFFIRMED the district court's judgment, decision not for publication pursuant to local rule 206. Damon J. Keith, Circuit Judge; David W. McKeague, Circuit Judge and Bernice Bouie Donald, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 12a0599n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ARTURO SAENZ GARZA,
Jun 08, 2012
LEONARD GREEN, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE WESTERN
DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
BEFORE: KEITH, McKEAGUE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM. Arturo Saenz Garza, a federal prisoner, appeals the sentence imposed upon
revocation of his term of supervised release. Garza entered a guilty plea in a federal court in Texas
in 2006 to possession of marijuana, and was sentenced to forty-one months of imprisonment to be
followed by three years of supervised release. In 2011, he entered a guilty plea in the Western
District of Michigan to charges of conspiracy to possess marijuana and use of a communication
facility to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment. The district court
immediately proceeded to address Garza’s violation of supervised release on the earlier sentence,
accepting his guilty plea and imposing a sentence of thirty-three months of imprisonment, twentyfour of which were to run consecutively to his new federal sentence. On appeal, Garza argues that
the district court erred in ordering his sentence for violating his supervised release to run partially
consecutively to his new federal sentence, rather than wholly concurrently.
United States v. Garza
We review a sentence imposed upon revocation of supervised release for reasonableness,
under an abuse-of-discretion standard. United States v. Polihonki, 543 F.3d 318, 322 (6th Cir. 2008).
We also review the decision to impose concurrent or consecutive sentences for an abuse of
discretion. United States v. Watford, 468 F.3d 891, 916 (6th Cir. 2006).
Garza argues that USSG § 5G1.3(b) requires concurrent sentences, citing United States v.
Collins, No. 98-5716, 188 F.3d 509, 1999 WL 717962 (6th Cir. Sept. 10, 1999). The United States
argues that USSG § 7B1.3(f) governs the sentence imposed for revocation of supervised release,
citing United States v. Johnson, 640 F.3d 195, 209 n.8 (6th Cir. 2011).
We find the government’s argument persuasive. USSG § 5G1.3(b) did not apply in
sentencing Garza for violating his supervised release, because his new federal conviction did not
increase the offense level for his violation. USSG § 7B1.3(f), recommending a consecutive sentence,
did apply to the sentence for the violation of supervised release, although it was not binding on the
district court. See United States v. Sparks, 19 F.3d 1099, 1101 (6th Cir. 1994).
We find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s decision to order Garza’s sentence on
the violation of supervised release to run partially consecutively. The district court explained the
reasons for the sentence, noting that Garza had returned to the same criminal behavior of which he
was convicted in 2006, that the supervised release imposed in that case did not curtail his behavior,
that there was obviously a risk of recidivism, and that the interest of rehabilitation required a longer
sentence. We reject Garza’s argument that he was punished twice for the same criminal conduct,
because his sentence in this case was for violating his supervised release, a separate offense from his
new criminal conviction.
The district court’s judgment is therefore affirmed.
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