- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
- Date Filed: 06-12-2014
- Case #: 13-10087
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge M. Smith for the Court; Circuit Judge McKeown; District Judge Robart
- Full Text Opinion
A Mexican citizen, Juan Gregorio Quintero-Junco, was arrested on September 27, 2012, in Arizona. Having previously been deported in June of 2008, Quintero-Junco was charged with violating 8 U.S.C. § 1326 and illegal reentry after deportation. Without a plea agreement, Quintero-Junco pled guilty to the indictment. The Probation Office, in its Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”), revealed that Quintero-Junco had a prior attempted sexual abuse conviction in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1404. The PSR deemed Quintero-Junco’s prior conviction a “forcible sex offense” and thus a “crime of violence” which subjected him to a United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG” or “Guidelines”) § 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii) sentencing enhancement. Quintero-Junco received his district court sentence on February 14, 2013. The district court began by calculating the appropriate Guidelines range, between twenty-seven months and thirty-three months, noting the potential for enhancement. The district court then sentenced Quintero-Junco to a term of fifty-two months. Quintero-Junco timely appealed, arguing that the district court erred in two ways: the court (1) did not give the Guidelines adequate weight, and (2) improperly classified his prior conviction as a forcible sex offense. The Ninth Circuit rejected both of Quintero-Junco’s arguments. The panel held: (1) a district court that imposes a non-USSG sentence for illegal reentry after deportation does not commit methodological or plain error where it treats the Guidelines as its starting point and then relies on the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors; and, (2) a sentencing court’s improper execution in applying the modified categorical approach to a divisible statute when analyzing a defendant’s prior conviction is inconsequential where the elements of the pertinent statutory prong categorically match the elements of the United States Sentencing Commission’s definition of “forcible sex offense.” AFFIRMED.