United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, United States District Judge
September 20, 2016, Mario Antonio Javier Morffe
("Defendant"), pleaded guilty to one count of
Importation of Cocaine, 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 12 months and 1 day of
incarceration and a $ 100.00 special assessment.
January 29, 2016, the United States filed a Complaint against
Defendant alleging he had unlawfully imported cocaine, a
Schedule II controlled substance, into the United States.
Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1. The subsequent Indictment, filed on
February 22, 2016, charged Defendant with two counts: (1)
Importation of Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
952(a) and 21 U.S.C. § 960(a)(1); and (2) Possession of
Cocaine 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 September 20, 2016,
Defendant pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment
pursuant to a Plea Agreement. See Plea Agreement,
ECF No. 17.
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. §
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.
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.
Analysis A. Factor One: The Nature and
Circumstances of the Offense and the History and
Characteristics of the Defendant
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.
was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on March 21,
1979, to unmarried parents. Presentence Investigation Report
("PSR") ¶ 27, ECF No. 18. Defendant's
father broke up with Defendant's mother during her
pregnancy for reasons unknown to Defendant, and Defendant has
never met his father. Id. Defendant and his
half-brother were raised by his mother "under
impoverished economic conditions, " but Defendant
reported having had a normal childhood. Id. ¶
28. When Defendant was eleven years old, his mother married
Matias Aybar, with whom Defendant also maintains a good
relationship. Id. ¶ 29; see also
Def.'s Sentencing Mem. at 1-2 n.2, ECF No. 20 (noting
correct spelling of Defendant's stepfather's name).
Indeed, Defendant maintains "close and loving
relationships with all family members, " including his
mother, "who continues to reside in the Dominican
Republic, [and] suffers from diabetes, depression, and
financial problems." PSR ¶ 27.
has "had to stop studying periodically due to various
life occurrences, " but he obtained his high school
diploma in 1997 and took classes toward his bachelor's
degree-which he has yet to earn-from 1998 to 2015. PSR ¶
37; see also Def.'s Sentencing Mem. at 1-2 n.2
(explaining Defendant "needs to complete five more
semesters" to obtain his degree). Defendant does,
however, have a lengthy employment history: Between 1992 and
2007, he worked as a salesperson for an office supplies
distributor; a switchboard operator; a salesperson for a
cellular telephone dealer; a factory employee for a
pharmaceuticals manufacturer; and an accounting employee for
an electrical generator plant. PSR ¶ 43. From 2007 to
2014, he worked in the accounting department for a company
that "handled franchises for supermarkets, toy stores,
and hardware stores, " but he resigned after his
immediate supervisor blocked his promotion. Id.
¶ 42. Prior to his arrest, Defendant was working as a
salesperson at a wholesale pharmaceuticals distributor in
which capacity he was earning between 25, 000 and 50, 000
Dominican pesos a month, depending on commission.
Id. ¶ 41.
2003 to 2007, Defendant was in a long-term romantic
relationship with Betzaida Pilarte. Id. ¶ 30.
Defendant and Ms. Pilarte had a son, who is about twelve
years old and suffers from Down syndrome. Id. Prior
to his arrest, Defendant saw his son every two weeks and
provided 2, 000 Dominican pesos in court-ordered support each
month. Id. Ms. Pilarte reportedly "was upset to
learn of the defendant's arrest because she is now not
receiving financial support" and "is experiencing
financial difficulties." Id. In August 2008,
Defendant married Yassmine Ramirez. Id. ¶ 31.
The couple have a child together who is currently about nine
years old. Id. Defendant and Ms. Ramirez divorced in
2014 "because they were not getting ...