APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO [Hon. Francisco A. Besosa, U.S.
District Judge] [Hon. Carmen Consuelo Cerezo, U.S. District
Rivera-González and Johnny Rivera's Law Office, on
brief for appellant.
A. Schwartz, Assistant United States Attorney, Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and
Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States
Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, on brief for appellee.
Torruella, Thompson, and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge.
pleading guilty in two separate cases, Joshuan David
Caballero-Vázquez was sentenced first for possessing
ammunition as a convicted felon (the "Felon in
Possession Case") and then for possessing a machine gun
(the "Machine Gun Case"). In this consolidated
appeal, he now challenges both of those sentences on
procedural and substantive grounds. We affirm both sentences.
begin with an overview of the intertwined factual and
procedural events leading up to this appeal. Because this
appeal follows two different guilty pleas, we draw the facts
from the plea agreements, change-of-plea colloquies,
presentence investigation reports (PSRs), and sentencing
hearings in both cases. See United States
v. Reyes-Rivera, 812 F.3d 79, 82 (1st Cir.
start with the facts giving rise to the Machine Gun Case. On
March 7, 2015, an officer from the Manatí, Puerto Rico
Municipal Police stopped Caballero-Vázquez after
observing him drive a Ford Edge against traffic, and then up
onto the sidewalk. After asking Caballero-Vázquez for
his license and registration, the officer noticed that the
registration information Caballero-Vázquez provided
did not match the number on the vehicle's registration
sticker. Suspecting a false registration sticker, the officer
seized both Caballero-Vázquez and the Ford Edge and
brought them to the Manatí Municipal Police Station.
There, an inventory search of the vehicle yielded a loaded
Glock .40 caliber pistol that had been modified to function
as a machine gun. Moreover, a database search using the
Glock's serial number would later reveal that it had been
reported as stolen from the residence of its legal owner.
jury returned a one-count indictment against
Caballero-Vázquez for possessing a machine gun.
See 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(o), 924(a)(2). On
September 2, 2015, Caballero-Vázquez, after entering
into a type-B plea agreement with the government, pleaded
guilty to that count. See Fed. R. Crim. P.
11(c)(1)(B). The parties jointly calculated a guidelines
range to serve as the basis for the plea agreement's
sentencing recommendation. They began with a base offense
level of 18, see U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(a)(5), but
then subtracted three levels because Caballero-Vázquez
had accepted responsibility, see id. § 3E1.1,
thereby arriving at an adjusted offense level of fifteen. The
parties did not stipulate to any particular Criminal History
Category (CHC). The parties then agreed to recommend that the
district court sentence Caballero-Vázquez to a term of
imprisonment at the lower end of whatever it ultimately
determined to be the applicable guidelines range.
Caballero-Vázquez agreed to waive his right to appeal
if he received a sentence in accordance with the plea
United States Probation Office then prepared a PSR, which
differed from the parties' guidelines calculations in
only one respect. The PSR added two levels because the
firearm in question had been reported stolen, see
id. § 2K2.1(b)(4), resulting in a total offense
level of 17. The PSR assigned Caballero-Vázquez a
criminal history score of zero. Caballero-Vázquez
objected to the stolen-gun enhancement on the grounds that
neither the indictment nor the plea agreement discussed the
gun having been stolen. The government did not oppose that
objection, consistent with the plea agreement's provision
that neither party would seek additional offense-level
enhancements or deductions.
facts of the Felon in Possession Case are these. While his
objection to the stolen-gun enhancement in the Machine Gun
Case was pending, officers from the Puerto Rico Police
Department on patrol in Manatí spotted
Caballero-Vázquez -- who had been released on bail --
driving a Hyundai Tucson that matched the description of a
vehicle that had been reported stolen. The officers attempted
to stop Caballero-Vázquez, but he did not acquiesce,
and instead drove off. Reinforcements arrived and blocked his
path. Caballero-Vázquez pointed a gun at one of the
vehicles blocking his way, and then proceeded to lead the
officers on a high-speed chase through Manatí.
Ultimately, Caballero-Vázquez abandoned his vehicle,
leaving the keys in the ...