Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Madera-Rivera

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

August 2, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
ELVING MADERA-RIVERA, Defendant, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO [Hon. Carmen Consuelo Cerezo, U.S. District Judge]

          Rafael F. Castro Lang on brief for appellant.

          Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and Julia M. Meconiates, Assistant United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.

          Before Howard, Chief Judge, Boudin and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

          BOUDIN, Circuit Judge.

         Elving Madera-Rivera ("Madera") was the architect of a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, using the mails and commercial airlines to send kilogram quantities of the drug via Puerto Rico into the continental United States. Madera recruited and paid the couriers, using contacts in the continental United States to make arrangements for distribution of the cocaine after it arrived.

         Madera was indicted with fourteen co-defendants on June 26, 2013, and charged with one count of conspiracy to possess five kilograms or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846. He then sought bail and, when it was denied, filed an emergency motion, describing an enlarged spleen, low platelet levels, and Hepatitis C; the latter caused him to suffer from chronic liver ailments, including liver cirrhosis.[1] The government ultimately agreed to support Madera's bail motion, at least for a period.

         As the case progressed, Madera rejected, for reasons that are disputed, the government's proffered plea agreement and instead entered a straight guilty plea. Madera says that the government required as a condition of the plea bargain that he waive any right to seek continued bail for medical treatment pending sentencing. The government denies this happened, arguing instead that Madera's decision to enter a straight plea was a strategic one to allow him to contest other issues.

         After Madera pled guilty, the court held sentencing hearings to determine the amount of cocaine to attribute to Madera, U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(c) (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2014), his precise role in the conspiracy, id. § 3B1.1, and the offense level decrease for his acceptance of responsibility, id. § 3E1.1. The court held Madera responsible for seventy-seven kilograms of cocaine, id. § 2D1.1(c)(3), and found that he was a leader of the conspiracy, id. § 3B1.1(a). The court granted a three-level decrease for acceptance of responsibility. Id. § 3E1.1(a)-(b).

         Madera then sought a downward departure under U.S.S.G. § 5H1.4 (and also requested a variance--an issue we address below). Section 5H1.4 states:

Physical condition . . . may be relevant in determining whether a departure is warranted, if the condition . . . individually or in combination with other offender characteristics, is present to an unusual degree and distinguishes the case from the typical cases covered by the guidelines. An extraordinary physical impairment may be a reason to depart downward . . . .

         Madera argued that his life was in danger and would assuredly be shortened by a guidelines sentence, since prison facilities would be unable to fully address his medical needs. See United States v. Herman, 848 F.3d 55, 59 (1st Cir. 2017). The government pressed for a within-guidelines sentence and said that "nothing presented" indicated that the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") was incapable of providing appropriate medical treatment.

         The court's final tally was a total offense level of thirty-five, entailing a guidelines range of 168 to 210 months. U.S.S.G. ch. 5, pt. A. The court ultimately imposed a 180-month sentence.

         During the last hearing, the court said that it understood--from whom or what is not clear--that Madera's health condition, "serious as it is, can be adequately treated and handled during his incarceration." The court urged that Madera be sent to the Butner Federal Correction Institution in North ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.