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U.S. v. BAENA-SANCHEZ

July 30, 2003

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JULIO CESAR BAENA-SANCHEZ, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert Sweet, Senior District Judge

SENTENCING OPINION

Defendant Julio Cesar Baena-Sanchez ("Baena-Sanchez") pled guilty on January 22, 2003 to unlawfully conspiring to violate the narcotics laws of the United States, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. As part and object of the conspiracy, Baena-Sanchez distributed and possessed with the intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 (a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A). Baena-Sanchez further pled guilty to attempting to possess, with intent to distribute, approximately two kilograms of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 812, 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A). For the reasons set forth below, Baena-Sanchez will be sentenced to 46 months' imprisonment, followed by a five year term of supervised release. A $200 special assessment fee is mandatory.

The Defendant

Baena-Sanchez was born on April 28, 1973 in Pereira, Colombia. He is the older of two children born to the consensual union of Gonzalo Baena and Consuelo Sanchez. Baena-Sanchez' father is presently 50 years old and living in Pereira, Colombia. His mother is a resident of Colombia, but has been staying with relatives in Jackson Heights, New York. Baena-Sanchez' sister and two maternal half-sisters reside in Cali, Colombia.

Baena-Sanchez lived with both his parents in Pereira until he was eight years old, when his father left home. Baena-Sanchez' father used corporal punishment on the children and was violent and abusive towards the mother. Baena-Sanchez never heard from his father after he left home, although he and his sister made efforts over the years to contact him.

Baena-Sanchez reports having close relationships with his mother and sisters and stated that he became the "man of the house" after his father moved out. The mother worked as a secretary of a furniture company in Cali and was the sole source of financial support for the family. The family's economic status was poor.

In June 2001, Baena-Sanchez illegally entered the United States through Mexico. He was then deported in February 2000. For three mouths prior to his arrest, Baena-Sanchez lived alone in a room he rented in the basement of Jackson Heights, New York. Prior to that, he lived with his aunt in Jamaica, New York. He further stated that he lived in Miami, Florida for three months and in Fort Meyers, Florida for four months in 2001 and 2002.

From prior relationships, Baena-Sanchez has two children — both of whom live with their mothers in Colombia. One child is seven years old, and the other is two. Prior to his incarceration, Baena-Sanchez provided financial support for his children and maintained regular contact with them.

Baena-Sanchez started using marijuana at age 24, and he has used it sporadically since. He began drinking alcohol at age 20 and has on occasion drunk excessively to the point of "passing out." However, he does not consider himself to have a history of problem drinking and stated that, since immigrating to the United States, he has used alcohol on few occasions.

Baena-Sanchez reported no history of mental or emotional illness, but he has been experiencing depression since his incarceration.

Baena-Sanchez did not complete high school and has since attended no educational or vocational programs. At the time of the instant offense, he was unemployed. Baena-Sanchez stated that he has done some off-the-books employment in the United States as a laborer for an unlicensed general contractor and as an auto mechanic. He also worked for two years in Cali, Colombia as a cleaning person and office aid, and for two years as a warehouse worker and messenger.

He has no assets or liabilities.

He has no prior criminal ...


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