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United States v. Alejandro-Montanez

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

February 18, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
JOSUÉ ALEJANDRO-MONTAÑEZ, JULIO SEVERINO-BATISTA, and EDDIE ALEJANDRO-MONTAÑ EZ, Defendants, Appellants

Page 353

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 354

APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Daniel R. Domínguez, U.S. District Judge.

David A.F. Lewis for appellant Josué Alejandro-Montañez.

Leslie W. O'Brien for appellant Julio Severino-Batista.

Joshua L. Gordon for appellant Eddie Alejandro-Montañez.

Carlos R. Cardona, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Francisco A. Besosa-Martínez, Assistant United States Attorney, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and Nelson Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, were on brief, for appellee.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 355

KAYATTA, Circuit Judge.

Criminal defendants Josué Alejandro-Montañez, Julio Severino-Batista, and Eddie Alejandro-Montañez (" Defendants" ) appeal from convictions and sentences related to a criminal conspiracy to import cocaine. Defendants argue that the district court: (1) erred in denying their motions for judgment of acquittal; (2) erred in determining cocaine quantity at sentencing; (3) abused its discretion in fashioning their sentences; (4) violated their Sixth Amendment right to a public trial; and (5) erred in applying a two-level sentencing enhancement for the foreseeable presence of a firearm. We reject each of Defendants' arguments. Nevertheless, in light of newly promulgated Amendment 782 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, we accept the parties' joint request that we remand for reconsideration of the sentences.

I. Background

Along with four other co-conspirators, Defendants were indicted and convicted for a conspiracy that spanned from June 2008 to March 2009. In considering a ...


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