94 F.3d 582 (9th Cir. 1996), 95-10188, United States v. Gutierrez-Hernandez

Docket Nº:95-10188, 95-10195.
Citation:94 F.3d 582
Party Name:D.A.R. 10,541 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jose GUTIERREZ-HERNANDEZ, and Raul Suarez-Reynoso, Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:August 28, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 582

94 F.3d 582 (9th Cir. 1996)

D.A.R. 10,541

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Jose GUTIERREZ-HERNANDEZ, and Raul Suarez-Reynoso,

Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 95-10188, 95-10195.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 28, 1996

Argued and Submitted May 17, 1996.

Page 583

John F. Garland, Fresno, California, for defendant-appellant Jose Gutierrez-Hernandez.

Mark C. Ament, Assistant Federal Defender, Fresno, California, for defendant-appellant Raul Suarez-Reynoso.

William S. Wong, Assistant United States Attorney, Sacramento, California, for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Myron D. Crocker, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CR-94-05006 MDC.

Before: PREGERSON and TROTT, Circuit Judges, EZRA, District Judge. [*]

EZRA, District Judge:

Appellants contend that their respective sentences should be vacated because the district court failed to make the necessary factual findings at sentencing as to the amount of drugs implicated in a drug conspiracy. Raul Suarez-Reynoso ("Reynoso") further disputes his sentence on grounds that the district court failed to make specific factual findings as to (a) the amount of drugs involved in the conspiracy that were specifically attributable to him, and (b) his role in the offense. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1291 and 18 U.S.C. § 3742. We AFFIRM IN PART, and VACATE AND REMAND IN PART.

I.

The district court's factual findings in the sentencing phase are reviewed for clear error. See United States v. Fuentes-Mendoza, 56 F.3d 1113, 1116-17 (9th Cir.1995)

Page 584

(quantity of drugs, possession of firearm, supervisorial role), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 116 S.Ct. 326, 133 L.Ed.2d 227 (1995).

The district court's interpretation of the Sentencing Guidelines is reviewed de novo. United States v. Basinger, 60 F.3d 1400, 1409 (9th Cir.1995). The district court's application of the Sentencing Guidelines to the facts is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Koon v. United States, --- U.S. ----, ----, 116 S.Ct. 2035, 2047, 135 L.Ed.2d 392 (1996). The district court's interpretation of the Guidelines, as a matter of law, is not entitled to deference, though "[l]ittle turns ... on whether we label review of this particular question abuse of discretion or de novo, for ... [a] district court by definition abuses its discretion when it makes an error of law." United States v. Willett, 90 F.3d 404, 406 (9th Cir.1996) (quoting Koon, --- U.S. at ----, 116 S.Ct. at 2047).

II.

Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, state and local officers raided a clandestine methamphetamine...

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