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U.S. v. CARMONA-RODRIGUEZ

April 11, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
Noelia Carmona-Rodriguez, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge

SENTENCING OPINION

Defendant Noelia Carmona-Rodriguez ("Carmona-Rodriguez") has pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute 400-700 grams of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(B) (a Class B felony). Carmona-Rodriguez will be sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release, subject to the further conditions set forth herein.

Prior Proceedings

  On April 8, 2004, Carmona-Rodriguez was arrested for alleged participation in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. On April 9, 2004, a criminal complaint was sworn against her before the Honorable James C. Francis of this district. On July 8, 2004, an indictment was filed charging Carmona-Rodriguez with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(B). On or about October 8, 2004, Carmona-Rodriguez and the Government entered into a written, non-binding, plea agreement. On December 6, 2004, Carmona-Rodriguez appeared before the Honorable Douglas F. Eaton of this district and allocuted to the conduct charged in the indictment. Judge Eaton recommended that the Court accept Carmona-Rodriguez' guilty plea. On January 17, 2005, the recommendation and plea were accepted. On March 14 and March 20 of 2005, Carmona-Rodriguez wrote to the Court concerning here sentence. Translated copies of these letters have been provided to the Government. Carmona-Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2005.

  The Sentencing Framework

  In accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), and the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. Crosby, 397 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2005), the sentence to be imposed was reached through consideration of all of the factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), including the advisory Sentencing Guidelines (the "Guidelines") establishing by the United States Sentencing Commission. Thus, the sentence to be imposed here is the result of a consideration of:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant; (2) the need for the sentence imposed —
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;
(3) the kinds of sentences available;
(4) the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for —
(A) the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines . . .;
(5) any pertinent policy statement . . . [issued by the Sentencing Commission];
(6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct; and
(7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense.
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). A sentencing judge is permitted to find all the facts appropriate for determining a sentence, whether that sentence is a so-called Guidelines sentence or not. See Crosby, 397 F.3d at 114-15.

  The Defendant Carmona-Rodriguez was born in Cuba on May 13, 1950. She completed the U.S. equivalent of the 8th grade before dropping out of school in 1968. That same year, she was married. In 1979, her marriage ended in divorce, apparently as a result of domestic abuse by her husband. The marriage produced one child, a son. In 1980, Carmona-Rodriguez emigrated from Cuba to the United States.

  In 1981, Carmona-Rodriguez was married for a second time. On October 16, 1982, Carmona-Rodriguez gave birth to a daughter. In 1985, her second husband committed suicide. At some point in 1985, Carmona-Rodriguez lost contact with her son, and she has not been in contact with him since.

  In 1987, Carmona-Rodriguez was married for a third time. In 1989, her husband was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for attempted kidnaping. He was paroled in December, 1999.

  On April 20, 1996, Carmona-Rodriguez became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

  Carmona-Rodriguez suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. Since her arrest, she has been treated for anxiety and depression. At some point after May, 1980, she started using marijuana and she subsequently developed a daily habit. At some point after May, 1988, she started using cocaine. She also has been a sporadic heroin user. Despite this history of drug use, Carmona-Rodriguez has never participated in a substance-abuse treatment program.

  On April 1, 2004, Carmona-Rodriguez' daughter, who suffers from depression and mild retardation, gave birth to a daughter. This granddaughter is asthmatic and underdeveloped due to her premature birth.

  Since 1990, Carmona-Rodriguez has owned a single-family residence in Bronx, New York. Her husband, daughter, granddaughter, and the father of her granddaughter (who ...


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