United States v. Sonya Hernandez


PER CURIAM OPINION FILED - THE COURT: Lavenski R. Smith, Pasco M. Bowman and Duane Benton (UNPUBLISHED); Granting [4391945-2] motion to withdraw as counsel filed by Mr. David E. Mullin. [4481516] [16-1135]

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United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 16-1135 ___________________________ United States of America lllllllllllllllllllll Plaintiff - Appellee v. Sonya Lee Hernandez lllllllllllllllllllll Defendant - Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Ft. Dodge ____________ Submitted: December 20, 2016 Filed: December 20, 2016 [Unpublished] ____________ Before SMITH, BOWMAN, and BENTON, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. After pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, Sonya Hernandez appeals the district court’s1 below-Guidelines sentence. Hernandez’s 1 The Honorable Linda R. Reade, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Appellate Case: 16-1135 Page: 1 Date Filed: 12/20/2016 Entry ID: 4481516 counsel has moved to withdraw and has filed a brief filed under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), arguing that the district court erred by not departing further, and by imposing an unreasonable sentence. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms. The extent of the district court’s departure is not reviewable on appeal. See United States v. Williams, 324 F.3d 1049, 1050 (8th Cir. 2003) (per curiam) (extent of downward departure is not subject to review, unless defendant makes substantial showing that district court’s refusal to depart further was based on unconstitutional motive). This court finds that the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Hernandez because it imposed the below-Guidelines sentence after considering the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. See United States v. Miller, 557 F.3d 910, 917 (8th Cir. 2009) (under substantive-reasonableness test, district court abuses its discretion if it fails to consider relevant § 3553(a) factor, gives significant weight to improper or irrelevant factor, or commits clear error of judgment in weighing factors); United States v. Moore, 581 F.3d 681, 684 (8th Cir. 2009) (per curiam) (“[W]here a district court has sentenced a defendant below the advisory guidelines range, it is nearly inconceivable that the court abused its discretion in not varying downward still further.”). Having independently reviewed the record pursuant to Penson v. Ohio, 488 U.S. 75 (1988), this court finds no non-frivolous issues for appeal. The judgment is affirmed and counsel’s motion to withdraw is granted. ______________________________ -2- Appellate Case: 16-1135 Page: 2 Date Filed: 12/20/2016 Entry ID: 4481516

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