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United States v. Reyes-Gomez

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

June 11, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
FRANCISCO REYES-GOMEZ, Defendant, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO [Hon. Juan M. Pérez-Giménez, U.S. District Judge]

          Mariángela Tirado-Vales on brief for appellant.

          Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and B. Kathryn Debrason, Assistant United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.

          Before Lynch, Stahl, and Lipez, Circuit Judges.

          LIPEZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Defendant Francisco Reyes-Gomez claims on appeal that the sentence imposed by the district court was substantively unreasonable. Although the sentencing judge found that Reyes-Gomez qualified for the safety valve exception to the 120-month mandatory minimum sentence, he nonetheless imposed a 135-month term of imprisonment. We affirm.

         I.

         Reyes-Gomez pled guilty to conspiracy to import a controlled substance (Count One), 21 U.S.C. §§ 952(a), 960(a)(1) & (b)(1)(B), 963, and unlawful entry into the United States (Count Five), 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(1). He faced a 120-month mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for Count One.

         Reyes-Gomez and the government entered into a plea agreement, which included the following "Sentence Recommendation" provision:

After due consideration of the relevant factors enumerated in Title 18, United States Code, Section 3553(a), the parties reserve the right to recommend a sentence [of] 120 months for COUNT ONE. For COUNT FIVE, the parties will recommend a sentence of six months to run concurrent with the sentence imposed in COUNT ONE.
NOTE: The defendant recognizes that COUNT ONE carries a statutory minimum sentence of one hundred twenty (120) months.

         The plea agreement also contained a waiver-of-appeal provision:

The defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to appeal the judgment and sentence in this case, provided that the defendant is sentenced in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the Sentence ...

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