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United States v. Quinones-Otero

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

August 28, 2017

JESUS M. QUINONES-OTERO, Defendant, Appellant.


          Andrew S. McCutcheon, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Eric Alexander Vos, Federal Public Defender, and Vivianne M. Marrero-Torres, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Supervisor, Appeals Section, on brief for appellee.

          Thomas F. Klumper, Assistant United States Attorney, Senior Appellate Counsel, Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, on brief for appellant.

          Before Torruella, Lynch, Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

          LYNCH, Circuit Judge.

         Jesús Quiñones-Otero pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The district court sentenced Quiñones-Otero to twenty-seven months of incarceration, which was the top end of the Guidelines range calculated by the presentence investigation report. The sentence included three years of supervised release with a six-month 6:00 PM curfew enforced by electronic monitoring. Quiñones-Otero appeals from the sentence arguing (1) the district court abused its discretion when it imposed the curfew and electronic monitoring requirement and (2) the twenty-seven-month sentence was procedurally and substantively unreasonable. We reject these arguments and affirm.


         Police officers were on patrol around 6:00 AM, when a person brought Quiñones-Otero to their attention. The person said that Quiñones-Otero "was going to get something." Quiñones-Otero had been in an altercation at a bar earlier that night, had left the area, and was now returning to a nearby Burger King, where his car was parked. The police officers observed a weapon tucked into Quiñones-Otero's waistband. Quiñones-Otero ran when the police officers announced themselves and ordered him to stop. Quiñones-Otero threw the weapon away during the chase, and was ultimately apprehended. The police officers found the weapon after arresting Quiñones-Otero. During interrogation by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Quiñones-Otero admitted to having a prior conviction for violating Puerto Rico copyright law. Further investigation confirmed that Quiñones-Otero had a prior conviction, for which he had served two years in prison.

         Quiñones-Otero, a former police officer, pled guilty without a plea agreement to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The Guidelines range, based on an offense level of fifteen and Quiñones-Otero's criminal history category of II, was twenty-one to twenty-seven months of imprisonment and between one and three years of supervised release.[1]

         During the hours of the six-month, 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM curfew, Quiñones-Otero must "remain at [his] residence except for employment or other activities approved in advance" by United States Probation. The court ordered he must also "wear an electronic device 24 hours a day" and pay the costs of the device.

         The court justified the curfew and electronic monitoring requirements by stating, "[t]he Court finds that the conditions imposed are reasonably related to the offense of conviction and to the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. [§] 3553" and "consistent with the pertinent policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission." Quiñones-Otero objected to "the procedural and substantive unreasonableness of the sentence and to the imposition of the electronic monitoring period following the service of the sentence."


         The six-month curfew stands. Quiñones-Otero did not object to the curfew at sentencing, so his objection was not preserved and plain error review applies. United States v. Garrasteguy, 559 F.3d 34, 41 (1st Cir. 2009). Quiñones-Otero's objection to the "electronic monitoring period" only preserved his objection to the electronic monitoring requirement, not the curfew. The presentence investigation report suggested a six-month curfew during non-working hours, but Quiñones-Otero did not file an objection to the report.

         There was no plain error here. Conditions of release must be "'reasonably related' to (1) the underlying offense or character and criminal history of the defendant; (2) the need to deter criminal conduct; (3) the goal of protecting the public; or (4) the provision of rehabilitative educational, health, or other treatment for the defendant." United States v. Rivera-López, 736 F.3d 633, 635 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(b)). Conditions of release "must also 'involve no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary.'" Id. (citation omitted) Although "the district court is required to provide a reasoned and case-specific explanation for the [special] conditions it imposes, " a district court's failure to "explicitly provide such an explanation" does not require us to "automatically vacate the condition" as long as we can "infer the court's reasoning from the record." United States v. Fey, 834 F.3d 1, 3 ...

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