U.S. v. Navejar, 91-5541

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Citation963 F.2d 732
Docket NumberNo. 91-5541,91-5541
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Benjamin D. NAVEJAR, Jr., Defendant-Appellant. Summary Calendar.
Decision Date08 June 1992

Benjamin D. Navejar, Jr., pro se.

Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Asst. U.S. Atty., Ronald F. Ederer, U.S. Atty., San Antonio, Tex., for U.S.

Appeal from the United States District Court For the Western District of Texas.

Before POLITZ, Chief Judge, DAVIS and DeMOSS, Circuit Judges.

POLITZ, Chief Judge:

Proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis Benjamin D. Navejar, Jr. appeals the sentence imposed following his plea of guilty to distribution of heroin and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. For the reasons assigned we affirm.


Navejar was indicted for distributing more than 100 grams of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1), and being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). He reached a plea agreement which called for him to enter a plea of guilty to the first two charges and the government would dismiss the felon in possession of a firearm charge. The plea contained no provision relative to a recommended sentence. The government advised the court of the plea agreement but shortly thereafter, when Navejar appeared for entry of his guilty plea, he informed the court that he wished to proceed to trial.

The government responded to this change in circumstances by giving notice that it would seek sentence enhancement of the felon in possession charge because Navejar was a thrice-convicted felon. The plea discussions were revived and Navejar subsequently pleaded guilty to the first two counts based on an agreement substantially similar to that earlier renounced. The new agreement, however, contained a provision that the prosecution and defense concurred that a sentence of 270 months incarceration would be an appropriate disposition of the two charges.

Navejar was sentenced to jail for 210 months on the heroin distribution charge and 60 months on the carrying of a firearm during a drug offense charge, with the sentences to run consecutively, together with a supervised release term of four years and three years, respectively. He timely appealed, raising four assignments of error: (1) the presentence report (PSR) contained both procedural and factual defects; (2) the plea agreement was not binding because he was not adequately informed of its contents; (3) the court erred in its guideline calculations; and (4) he received ineffective assistance of counsel.


In his first point of error Navejar contends that he was not given an opportunity to review the PSR before his sentencing hearing, asserting that his due process rights were violated because the court failed to provide him and his counsel with copies of the PSR at least ten days before sentencing as required by Fed.R.Crim.P. 32(c)(3)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 3552(d). He further contends that the PSR contains many factual errors.

The contemporaneous objection rule applies equally to sentencing hearings as to trials. United States v. Vontsteen, 950 F.2d 1086 (5th Cir.1992). Navejar did not object to these alleged errors during the sentencing hearing and, accordingly, he may not raise this objection for the first time on appeal absent plain error. United States v. Lopez, 923 F.2d 47 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 2032, 114 L.Ed.2d 117 (1991).

" 'Plain error' is error which, when examined in the context of the entire case, is so obvious and substantial that failure to notice and correct it would affect the fairness, integrity or public reputation of judicial proceedings." Id. at 50. "It is a mistake so fundamental that it constitutes a 'miscarriage of justice.' " "Alternatively stated, when a new ... legal issue is raised for the first time on appeal, plain error occurs where our failure to consider the question results in 'manifest injustice.' " Id.

We perceive no plain error on the PSR complaint. At the sentencing hearing the court handed the PSR to Navejar and asked whether he had had sufficient time to review it with counsel. Navejar consulted privately with counsel and then answered in the affirmative. Nothing in the record contradicts that in-court statement. "Solemn declarations in open court carry a strong presumption of verity. The subsequent presentation of conclusory allegations unsupported by specifics" is inadequate to challenge such declarations. Blackledge v. Allison, 431 U.S. 63, 74, 97 S.Ct. 1621, 1629, 52 L.Ed.2d 136, 147 (1977).

Navejar's complaints of error in the PSR are merely general statements that it is inaccurate and misleading. He does not identify any specific error nor does he identify the facts that are, in his view, incorrect. In disputing factual assertions in a PSR the defendant must show that the information is materially untrue, inaccurate, or unreliable. United States v. Kinder, 946 F.2d 362 (5th Cir.1991), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 1677, 118 L.Ed.2d 394 (1992). Navejar's objections are vague and general; they neither demonstrate nor suggest material untruth, inaccuracy, or unreliability.

In his second assignment of error Navejar contends that although he signed the plea agreement, he was at no time "able to review the new agreement or discuss it with his counsel." He insists that it was not until months later that he realized that he had signed a plea...

To continue reading

Request your trial
52 cases
  • State v. Myers
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 20, 1998
    ...See United States v. Wyatt, 26 F.3d 863 (8th Cir.1994); United States v. D'Iguillont, 979 F.2d 612 (7th Cir.1992); United States v. Navejar, 963 F.2d 732 (5th Cir.1992); United States v. Flores-Payon, 942 F.2d 556 (9th Cir.1991); United States v. Jefferies, 908 F.2d 1520 (11th Cir.1990). A ......
  • U.S. v. Holmes, 03-41738.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 6, 2005
    ...claims in the absence of presentment to the district court and an adequately developed record. See, e.g., United States v. Navejar, 963 F.2d 732, 735 (5th Cir.1992).39 Although the record does contain testimony at the post-trial hearing on the question of venue and on counsel's failure to i......
  • U.S. v. Cothran
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 8, 2002
    ...testimony that he did not read the plea is irrelevant where the colloquy demonstrates that he understood the plea. United States v. Navejar, 963 F.2d 732, 735 (5th Cir.1992). We reject Cothran's arguments that he did not enter the plea Cothran also argues that his trial counsel was constitu......
  • U.S. v. Sanchez
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 9, 1993
    ...appeal. Thus, the contemporaneous objection rule applies, and Court reviews the alleged error only for plain error. United States v. Navejar, 963 F.2d 732, 734 (5th Cir.1992). Plain error exists only when the alleged error is "so obvious and substantial that failure to notice and correct it......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT