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United States v. Beltran

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ORLANDO PEREZ BELTRAN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, United States District Judge

         On July 25, 2016, the defendant, Orlando Perez Beltran, pleaded guilty to one count of Importation of Heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 952(a) and 21 U.S.C. § 960(a)(1). The Court now sentences the defendant and provides a complete statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) of those factors set forth by Congress and the President and contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). For the reasons discussed below, the defendant is hereby sentenced to 30 months of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 25, 2016, the United States filed a Complaint against Orlando Perez Beltran ("Defendant") alleging he had unlawfully imported heroin, a Schedule II controlled substance, into the United States. Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1. The subsequent Indictment, filed on March 10, 2016, charged Defendant with two counts: (1) Importation of Heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 952(a) and 21 U.S.C. § 960(a)(1); and (2) Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Indictment at 1-2, ECF No. 5. On July 25, 2016, Defendant pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment pursuant to a Plea Agreement. See Plea Agreement, ECF No. 15.

         The Court hereby sentences Defendant and sets forth its reasons for Defendant's sentence using the rubric of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         18 U.S.C. § 3553 outlines the procedures for imposing a sentence in a criminal case. If and when a district court chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Sentencing Guidelines range, the court "shall state in open court the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence, and ... the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence different from that described" in the Guidelines. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). The court must also "state[] with specificity" its reasons for so departing "in a statement of reasons form." Id.

         "The sentencing court's written statement of reasons shall be a simple, fact-specific statement explaining why the guidelines range did not account for a specific factor or factors under § 3553(a)." United States v. Davis, 08-CR-332, 2010 WL 1221709, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2010) (Weinstein, J.). Section 3553(a) provides a set of seven factors for the Court to consider in determining what sentence to impose on a criminal defendant. The Court addresses each in turn.

         II. Analysis

         A. Factor One: The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and the History and Characteristics of the Defendant

         The first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to evaluate "the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1).

         Defendant was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on February 20, 1993, to Orlando Perez Osorio and Ana Eileen Beltran Lopez. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 28, ECF No. 16. Defendant's father is an engineer and his mother is a receptionist, and they provided Defendant with a "normal and happy upbringing, " albeit under "modest economic circumstances." Id. ¶¶ 28-29. Defendant is very close with his parents, as well as with his elder sister, who is a graduate student and a secretary. Id. ¶¶ 29-30. Defendant still resides at his family home in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, with his parents and sister. Id. ¶ 31. He has completed approximately two-and-a-half years of courses toward a degree in criminal justice at Inter American University of Puerto Rico, id. ¶ 39, and is also employed as a server at a hotel in San Juan, id. ¶ 42.

         On February 24, 2016, Defendant arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport ("JFK") in Queens, New York, on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Id. ¶ 3. He was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") officers, who found 910.5 grams of heroin hidden within three pairs of sneakers Defendant had in his luggage. Id. ¶ 3-4. Defendant was then arrested by U.S. Homeland Security Investigation ("HSI") agents and waived his Miranda rights. Id. ¶ 4. Defendant told the HSI agents that he had met someone named "Ange" at a bar in Puerto Rico who had told him he could "make some money by importing drugs into the United States." Id. Shortly thereafter, Defendant was contacted by unknown individuals who provided him with a confirmation number for an airline ticket to the Dominican Republic. Id. He was met in Santo Domingo by a driver who took him to a hotel, where Defendant stayed for two nights. Id. ΒΆ 5. On the third day, Defendant was met at the hotel by unknown individuals who provided him with the ...


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