U.S. v. Gamez Reyes

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 11-21-2014
  • Case #: 13-50086
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Court Judge Murguia for the Court; Circuit Court Judges Fisher and Reinhardt
  • Full Text Opinion

If a sentencing enhancement is applied due to a special offense characteristic under the “Relevant Conduct” guideline of U.S.S.G. § 1B1.3(a)(1)(B), then the characteristic must be reasonably foreseeable to the defendant.

Fredy Oswaldo Gamez Reyes was a participant in an alien smuggling operation. He operated several stash houses in California where aliens were housed until they fully paid for their smuggling into the United States. Gamez Reyes was convicted of harboring and concealing illegal aliens for financial gain under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and (a)(1)(B)(i). Upon recommendation from the United States Probation Office, the district court applied a two-level sentencing enhancement for Gamez Reyes’s harboring of unaccompanied alien minors in the stash houses and a two-level sentencing enhancement for detaining aliens involuntarily under coercion or threat. Gamez Reyes appeals, arguing that the two sentencing enhancements were applied in error. The district court relied on the “Relevant Conduct” guideline in U.S.S.G. § 1B1.3(a)(1)(B), which requires special offense characteristics to be reasonably foreseeable. Because Gamez Reyes was familiar with the circumstances of the smuggling ring and stash houses, the court found that Gamez Reyes could have reasonably foreseen that unaccompanied minors were in the stash houses and the aliens were involuntarily contained through coercion or threat. There was no violation of due process because the district court did not rely on false or unreliable information in arriving at its decision. AFFIRMED.

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