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United States v. Aldeen

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

July 6, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
AHMED ALDEEN, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted June 22, 2015

Amended: July 22, 2015.

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.

Appeal from a July 28, 2014 judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Townes, J.), sentencing defendant-appellant Ahmed Aldeen to eighteen months' imprisonment and three years' supervised release for a violation of the conditions of his supervised release. On appeal, Aldeen argues that his above-Guidelines sentence was procedurally and substantively unreasonable. Because we find that the district court did not comply with its procedural obligations to provide an adequate explanation of Aldeen's sentence, we vacate and remand for resentencing and, to the extent necessary, further fact-finding and explanation of the sentence imposed.

REMANDED.

Karen L. Koniuszy and Susan Corkery, Assistant United States Attorneys, for Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, NY, for Appellee.

Yuanchung Lee, Federal Defenders of New York, Inc., New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before: CABRANES, POOLER, and CHIN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Chin, Circuit Judge.

Defendant-appellant Ahmed Aldeen appeals from a July 28, 2014 judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Townes, J. ), convicting him, following a guilty plea, of violating for the second time the conditions of his supervised release by associating with a convicted felon. As he admitted at his plea allocution, Aldeen spoke to a member of his sex offender treatment group in the subway, after one of their sessions. The district court revoked Aldeen's supervision and sentenced him to eighteen months' imprisonment to be followed by an additional three years of supervised release.

Aldeen now challenges his above-Guidelines sentence on both procedural and substantive grounds. For the reasons set forth below, we remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

BACKGROUND

In August 2008, Aldeen was convicted, following a guilty plea, of one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5) and (b)(2). In his plea allocution, Aldeen admitted that in the course of downloading adult pornography, he came into possession of two videos of child pornography, which he kept and viewed even after discovering they contained child pornography. The district court sentenced him to fifty-one months' imprisonment and three years' supervised release. The judgment contained the standard conditions of supervision, see U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(c), as well as five special conditions, see id. § 5D1.3(d), including a ban on using a computer or similar electronic device to access pornography " of any kind," and notifying the Probation Department of any computer to which he had access.

After being released from prison, Aldeen began serving his initial term of supervised release in February 2010. On September 28, 2011, the Probation Department charged him with violating several of his conditions of supervised release, including by failing to notify the Probation Department that he had certain access to the internet. He eventually pled guilty to failing to report to his Probation Officer. On August 22, 2012, the district court sentenced him to ten months' imprisonment, the top of the Guidelines range, as well as three additional years' supervised release. The judgment, however, was not entered until January 28, 2013.

For this second term of supervised release, the district court imposed the standard conditions of supervision and three special conditions. Relevant to this appeal are the following:

[Standard Condition] 9) [T]he defendant shall not associate with any persons engaged in criminal activity, and shall not associate with any person convicted of a felony, unless granted ...

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