United States v. Luis Castillo-Quintanar

Court Case Details
Court Case Opinion

Case: 11-50499 Document: 00511769429 Page: 1 Date Filed: 02/27/2012

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

United States Court of Appeals

Fifth Circuit

F I L E D

February 27, 2012

No. 11-50499

Summary Calendar

Lyle W. Cayce

Clerk

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff-Appellee

v.

LUIS ENRIQUE CASTLLO-QUINTANAR, also known as Luis Enrique Castillo
Quintanar,

Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the United States District Court

for the Western District of Texas

USDC No. 3:10-CR-3216-1

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DAVIS and ELROD, Circuit Judges.

*

PER CURIAM:

Luis Enrique Castillo-Quintanar (Castillo) was convicted of one count of

attempted illegal reentry following deportation, for which he was sentenced to

a 41-month term of imprisonment, and of one count of making a false claim of

being a citizen of the United States, for which he was sentenced to a concurrent

36-month term. He argues that his 41-month guidelines-range sentence is

unreasonable because it is greater than necessary to meet the goals of 18 U.S.C.

*

Pursuant to 5

C

.

R.

47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not

TH

IR

be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5

C

.

TH

IR

R.

47.5.4.

Case: 11-50499 Document: 00511769429 Page: 2 Date Filed: 02/27/2012

No. 11-50499

§ 3553(a). Castillo contends that the Guidelines that govern illegal reentry

offenses produced an unreasonable sentence because they resulted in double-

counting of his criminal history and failed to account for the nonviolent nature

of his offense, which he characterizes as an international trespass. He also

argues that the district court failed to consider his personal circumstances and

his motive for returning to the United States.

We review the sentence for reasonableness in light of the 18 U.S.C.

§ 3553(a) factors. United States v. Mares, 402 F.3d 511, 518-19 (5th Cir. 2005).

A “sentence within a properly calculated Guideline range is presumptively

reasonable.” United States v. Alonzo, 435 F.3d 551, 554 (5th Cir. 2006). “The

presumption is rebutted only upon a showing that the sentence does not account

for a factor that should receive significant weight, it gives significant weight to

an irrelevant or improper factor, or it represents a clear error of judgment in

balancing sentencing factors.” United States v. Cooks, 589 F.3d 173, 186 (5th

Cir. 2009).

As Castillo concedes, he did not object to the substantive reasonableness

of his sentence. Although Castillo maintains that we should review his sentence

for an abuse of discretion, under our precedents review is for plain error. See

United States v. Peltier, 505 F.3d 389, 391-92 (5th Cir. 2007); United States v.

Rodriguez, 15 F.3d 408, 414 (5th Cir. 1994). To prevail under the plain error

standard, he must show a forfeited error that is clear or obvious and that affects

his substantial rights. See Puckett v. United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135 (2009).

If he makes such a showing, this court has the discretion to correct the error but

only if it seriously affects the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial

proceedings. See id.

We have rejected the argument that a sentence is rendered unreasonable

because application of the Guidelines results in double-counting of a prior

criminal conviction. See United States v. Duarte, 569 F.3d 528, 529-31 & n.2 (5th

Cir. 2009). Similarly, we have not been persuaded by the contention that the

2

Case: 11-50499 Document: 00511769429 Page: 3 Date Filed: 02/27/2012

No. 11-50499

Guidelines fail to account for the nonviolent nature of an illegal reentry offense.

See United States v. Aguirre-Villa, 460 F.3d 681, 683 (5th Cir. 2006). We have

also determined that an alien’s benign motive for returning to this country

illegally, such as Castillo’s contention that he entered the United States to look

for work as an automobile mechanic so that he could support his three young

children, is not sufficient to rebut the appellate presumption of reasonableness.

See United States v. Gomez-Herrera, 523 F.3d 554, 565-66 (5th Cir. 2008). More

generally, we will not second-guess the district court’s assessment of the factors

set forth in § 3553(a) as they apply to Castillo’s case. See United States v.

Cisneros-Gutierrez, 517 F.3d 751, 767 (5th Cir. 2008).

Castillo has not demonstrated that his sentence fails to take into account

a factor that should receive significant weight, gives significant weight to an

irrelevant or improper factor, or represents a clear error of judgment in

balancing the sentencing factors. See Cooks, 589 F.3d at 186. He has therefore

failed to rebut the presumption of reasonableness that attaches to his within-

guidelines sentence, see id., and he has not shown plain error. See Puckett, 556

U.S. at 135.

The district court’s judgment is AFFIRMED. The Government’s motion

for summary affirmance is DENIED. See United States v. Holy Land Found. for

Relief & Dev., 445 F.3d 771, 781 (5th Cir. 2006). However, because Castillo has

not rebutted the presumption of reasonableness that attaches to his below-

guidelines sentence, and has not demonstrated plain error, further briefing is

unnecessary. Accordingly, the Government’s alternative request for an

extension of time to file a brief is DENIED.

3