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United States v. Vasquez-Perez

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

February 10, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
NICOLAS VASQUEZ-PEREZ, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted January 13, 2014 [*], San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. D.C. No. 4:12-cr-50033-DCB-JR-1, David C. Bury, District Judge, Presiding.

Robert H. Sigal, Tucson, Arizona, for Defendant-Appellant.

Heather Sechrist, Assistant United States Attorney, Tucson, Arizona, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Arthur L. Alarcón, Richard C. Tallman, and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 897

ALARCÓN, Circuit Judge.

Nicolas Vasquez-Perez was sentenced to serve 21 months for violating the terms of his supervised release by illegally reentering the country after he had been deported. He contends in this appeal that he was not provided with adequate notice of the allegations against him, that his sentence was unreasonable, and that he was denied the protections of Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969). We affirm.

I

On August 21, 2011, U.S. border patrol agents found Nicolas Vasquez-Perez hiding in the desert brush outside Quijota, Arizona. He was in the country unlawfully, having been deported five months earlier. The agents arrested him, and two days later he was charged with illegally reentering the country after deportation, a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326.

At the time of his arrest, Vasquez-Perez was five months into a three-year term of supervised release, which was imposed after a 2010 conviction for illegal reentry following deportation. One of the conditions of his supervised release was that he not commit any federal, state, or local crimes. On February 7, 2012, the U.S. Probation Office filed a petition to revoke Vasquez-Perez's supervised release, based on the illegal-reentry charges stemming from the Quijota incident. At that time, Vasquez-Perez remained in custody on those charges. That same day, an Arizona district court issued an arrest warrant in the supervised-release matter and took notice of the related illegal-reentry case. On February 14, 2012, Vasquez-Perez made an initial appearance on the revocation matter.

Page 898

Vasquez-Perez was sentenced on the criminal charge of illegal reentry and for violating the terms of his supervised release on August 9, 2012. Prior to the sentencing hearing, he reached a plea agreement with the Government for the illegal-reentry charge that called for a sentence of 27 to 33 months. There was no prior agreement, however, regarding the alleged supervised-release violation. The district court considered both parties' recommendations before pronouncing its sentence. Vasquez-Perez argued that a combined sentence of 42 months would be sufficient but not greater than necessary. The Government disagreed. It argued for a combined sentence of 54 months--33 months for the illegal-reentry offense and 21 months for the supervised-release violation.

Before sentencing Vasquez-Perez, the court expressed its concern over his extensive criminal history, which included a number of instances of unlawful entry into the United States as well as convictions for other felony offenses. Because of his record, the district court stated that it was necessary to impose a sentence of sufficient length to deter Vasquez-Perez from reentering the United States illegally. The district court sentenced Vasquez-Perez to serve a 30-month term for the crime of illegal reentry, and a 21-month term for his violation of supervised release. The sentences were ordered to run ...


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