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United States v. Fernandez

United States District Court, S.D. New York

April 6, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIC FERNANDEZ, Defendant.

SENTENCING OPINION

ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.

On March 5, 2014, Eric Fernandez ("Fernandez" or "Defendant") pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine.

For the reasons set forth below, Fernandez will be sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment followed by five years' supervised release, subject to the scheduled sentencing hearing on April 8, 2015. Defendant is also required to pay a special assessment of $100.

Prior Proceedings

Defendant was named in a one-count superseding indictment (the "Indictment") filed in the Southern District of New York. The first and only count of the Indictment charges that from about 2011 through November 2012, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, Fernandez, and others, conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (a) (1) and (b) (1) (A) ("Count 1").

The Indictment indicates that, as a result of committing the controlled substance offenses charged in Count 1, Fernandez is subject to the Forfeiture Allegations and/or Substitute Forfeiture Allegations of the Indictment.

On March 5, 2014, Fernandez pled guilty to Count 1 pursuant to a plea agreement, which stipulates the following:

Offense Level
The sentencing guideline applicable to the offense charged in Count 1 of the Indictment is U.S.S.G. § 201.1.
Pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(a) (5) and 2D1.1 (c) (1), because Defendant's offense involved more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, the base offense level is 38.
Assuming Defendant clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility, to the satisfaction of the Government, through his allocution and subsequent conduct prior to the imposition of sentence, a two-level reduction will be warranted, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1(a). Furthermore, assuming Defendant has accepted responsibility as described in the previous sentence, an additional one-level reduction is warranted, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1(b), because Defendant gave timely notice of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the Government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the Court to allocate its resources efficiently.
In accordance with the above, the applicable Guidelines offense level is 35.
Criminal History Category
Based upon the information now available to the U.S. Attorney's Office (including representations by the defense), Defendant has zero criminal history points. In accordance with the above, Defendant's Criminal History Category is I.
Sentencing Range
Based upon the calculations set forth above, Defendant's stipulated Guidelines range is 168 to 210 months' imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 120 months. In addition, after determining Defendant's ability to pay, the Court may impose a fine pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 5E1.2. At Guidelines level 35, the applicable fine range is $20, 000 to $10, 000, 000.
Defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8, 2015.

The Sentencing Framework

In accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (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 Guidelines. 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 ...

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