U.S. v. Sanchez, Nos. 00-13347

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore ANDERSON, Chief Judge, and TJOFLAT, EDMONDSON, BIRCH, DUBINA, BLACK, CARNES, BARKETT, HULL, MARCUS and WILSON; HULL; TJOFLAT, Circuit Judge, specially concurring, in which WILSON; BARKETT
Citation269 F.3d 1250
Docket NumberNos. 00-13347,00-13447
Decision Date17 October 2001
Parties(11th Cir. 2001) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. IGNASIO MALDENALDO SANCHEZ, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SANTIAGO GILBERTO SANCHEZ, Defendant-Appellant

Page 1250

269 F.3d 1250 (11th Cir. 2001)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
IGNASIO MALDENALDO SANCHEZ, Defendant-Appellant.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SANTIAGO GILBERTO SANCHEZ, Defendant-Appellant.
Nos. 00-13347, 00-13447
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
October 17, 2001

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Copyrighted Material Omitted

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Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, D.C. Docket Nos. 98-00049-CR-HLM-4-5, 98-00049-CR-06-HLM-4

Before ANDERSON, Chief Judge, and TJOFLAT, EDMONDSON, BIRCH, DUBINA, BLACK, CARNES, BARKETT, HULL, MARCUS and WILSON, Circuit Judges.

HULL, Circuit Judge:

Defendants-Appellants Ignasio Maldenaldo Sanchez and Santiago Gilberto Sanchez ("the Sanchezes") appeal their convictions and sentences after pleading guilty to a single-count indictment that charged them with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and amphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846. They challenge their convictions and sentences primarily based on Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). A panel of this Court affirmed. See United States v. Sanchez, 242 F.3d 1294 (11th Cir. 2001). Relying on United States v. Rogers, 228 F.3d 1318 (11th Cir. 2000), the panel concluded that "in light of Apprendi, drug quantity is an element of the offense that must be charged in the indictment." Sanchez, 242 F.3d at 1298 (citing Rogers, 228 F.3d at 1324). The panel opinion repeated Rogers's statement that "'drug quantity in sections 841(b)(1)(A) and 841(b)(1)(B) cases must be charged in the indictment and proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.'" Id. (quoting Rogers, 228 F.3d at 1327). Because the indictment did not allege a specific drug quantity, the panel opinion found that both defendants' plea colloquies were "technically inadequate." Id. The panel opinion held, however, that there was "no prejudice" because, inter alia, the Sanchezes' sentences fell below the maximum penalty permitted under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Id. at 1300.

We subsequently sua sponte vacated the panel opinion and, by vote of a majority of the judges in active service, ordered that the case be reheard en banc. See United States v. Sanchez, 247 F.3d 1306 (11th Cir. 2001). We address en banc: whether, in light of Apprendi, drug quantity is now always an element of an offense under § 841 that must be charged in the indictment, submitted to a jury, and proven beyond a reasonable doubt; whether the district court properly denied the Sanchezes' motion to dismiss the indictment; whether the district court's drug quantity findings under § 841(b)(1)(B) and utilization of that sentencing scheme, which exposed the Sanchezes to enhanced sentences under that section but did not result in an actual term of imprisonment beyond the otherwise applicable maximum penalty in § 841(b)(1)(C), violated Apprendi; whether Apprendi applies to the Sanchezes' § 841 indictment, guilty pleas, convictions, and sentences given that the district court's drug quantity findings did not increase their ultimate sentences beyond the otherwise applicable maximum penalty in § 841(b)(1)(C); in this regard, whether we should adopt the analyses of Apprendi's impact on § 841 cases in United States v. Rogers, 228 F.3d 1318 (11th Cir. 2000) and United States v. Camacho, 248 F.3d 1286 (11th Cir. 2001), or the analyses in United States v. Gerrow, 232 F.3d 831 (11th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, ___ S. Ct. ___, 2001

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WL 385096 No. 00-9373 (Oct. 1, 2001), and other circuits' decisions finding that Apprendi does not apply unless a judge-made determination of drug quantity increases a defendant's sentence beyond the otherwise applicable maximum penalty in § 841(b)(1)(C); whether Apprendi rendered the Sanchezes' plea colloquies inadequate under Rule 11 and their guilty pleas unintelligent or involuntary if the court advised them about the higher statutory maximum penalties under §§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 841(b)(1)(B); whether terms of supervised release for § 841 convictions are controlled by 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) or 18 U.S.C. § 3583(b)(2) and whether the Sanchezes' four-year terms violated Apprendi; and what is the proper standard of review for each issue.

After such review and for the reasons discussed herein, we see no error, under Apprendi or otherwise, in the Sanchezes' indictment, plea colloquies, convictions, or sentences. We therefore affirm their convictions and their sentences.

This opinion proceeds as follows. In Part I, we review the proceedings in the district court. In Part II, we review the Supreme Court's decisions in Jones v. United States, 526 U.S. 227 (1999) and Apprendi. We then discuss the federal drug statute, our precedent construing that statute, and Apprendi's effect on both. In Part III, we address the Sanchezes' challenges to their indictment, guilty pleas, and sentences, along with the corresponding standards of review. In Part IV, we summarize our conclusions.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In the district court, the Sanchezes challenged not only their sentences but also their indictment and convictions based on Jones, and on appeal, they rely primarily on Apprendi. Additionally, for the first time on appeal they challenge their plea colloquies under Rule 11 based on Apprendi. The Sanchezes emphasize that from the outset of their cases the government sought enhanced penalties under § 841(b)(1)(B) based on drug quantities. They seek to expand Apprendi's constitutional principle to, and thereby show constitutional error at, all stages of their cases. Thus, we first review in detail the proceedings in the district court.

A. Sanchezes' Indictment

In late 1998, a federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment charging that the Sanchezes "did combine, conspire, confederate, agree, and have a tacit understanding with each other, and with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to violate Title 21, United States Code, § 841, to wit: to knowingly and intentionally possess with the intent to distribute and distribute quantities of methamphetamine and amphetamine, both being Schedule II controlled substances, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846."1 The indictment referenced 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846 and the type of drugs involved but not the quantities. Both defendants pled not guilty.

On April 21, 1999, defendant Ignasio Sanchez filed a "Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Failure to Allege Facts that Increase Maximum Penalty," specifically relying on Jones. The motion stated, "Jones clearly holds that the Constitution requires an indictment to allege 'any fact (other than prior conviction) that increases the maximum penalty for a crime.' Furthermore, such a fact must be submitted to a jury for a decision as to proof beyond a

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reasonable doubt."2 On this basis, Ignasio Sanchez argued that the indictment had to be dismissed because the various statutory maximum penalties under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b) for a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) were determined by drug quantity, and the indictment against him did not allege a specific drug quantity.

The district court denied the motion, noting that under this circuit's precedent "[t]he statutory scheme set forth in § 841 establishes that drug quantity is a sentencing consideration." The court continued that "the Constitution does not require drug quantity to be considered as an element of the criminal offense defined by § 841." The court noted that Jones "does not stand for the proposition that every fact which exposes a criminal defendant to a higher maximum penalty must be alleged in an indictment." Subsequently, the court granted, without objection, Santiago Sanchez's request to adopt Ignasio Sanchez's motion to dismiss the indictment and denied that motion as well.3

B. Guilty Pleas and Rule 11 Colloquies

In early 2000, the district court conducted separate, but substantially similar, plea colloquies for each defendant pursuant to Rule 11. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 11. The court advised both defendants of their various constitutional rights and asked whether each defendant understood that, by pleading guilty to the single-count indictment, he waived those constitutional rights and there would not be a trial of any kind. Each defendant responded in the affirmative. The court read the entire indictment and advised the Sanchezes that before a jury could find them guilty, the government was required to prove the various elements of the offense, as stated in the indictment, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Regarding sentencing, the district court advised Ignasio Sanchez that depending on the amount of drugs found to be attributable to him, he faced a sentence of either (a) ten years to life imprisonment, five years' supervised release, and a $4,000,000 fine, or (b) five to forty years' imprisonment, four years' supervised release, and a $2,000,000 fine. The court advised Santiago Sanchez only of the first of these two sentences. Although not citing any particular subsections within § 841(b), the court, in effect, described the content of §§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 841(b)(1)(B).4 The

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court also discussed the Sentencing Guidelines and stated that a sentencing range would be developed for each defendant within which the court had discretion to impose a sentence depending on the circumstances of the case.

Both defendants, after acknowledging that they understood the nature of the charge against them, pled guilty to the single-count indictment. Ignasio Sanchez entered a written plea of guilty which, pursuant to Rule 11(a)(2),5 was conditional on his reservation of the right to appeal the denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment.6 See Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(a)(2). Santiago Sanchez likewise was allowed to enter a conditional guilty plea.7

C. Pre-Sentence Reports

The initial pre-sentence reports recommended that the Sanchezes be held...

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162 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Leahy, No. 03-4490.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 15, 2006
    ...States v. Ochoa, 311 F.3d 1133, 1135 (9th Cir.2002); United States v. Wilson, 244 F.3d 1208 (10th Cir.2001); United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1262 (11th Cir.2001); United States v. Fields, 251 F.3d 1041, 1043 17. Sosebee also relies in part upon our holding in Syme. See 419 F.3d at ......
  • U.S. v. Duncan, No. 03-15315.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • February 24, 2005
    ...to plain error review, and that a sufficiency of the evidence objection is not a constitutional objection); United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1280 (11th Cir.2001) (en banc) (applying plain error review where Apprendi claim raised for the first time on appeal). The fact that Booker wa......
  • U.S. v. Barrington, No. 09–15295.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • August 11, 2011
    ...did not object to the district court's instructions. Fed.R.Crim.P. 30(d); United States v. Belfast, supra; United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1280–81 (11th Cir.2001) (en banc), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 942, 122 S.Ct. 1327, 152 L.Ed.2d 234 (2002).14 The district court instructed the jury......
  • State v. Allen, No. 485PA04.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • July 1, 2005
    ...cert. denied, 533 U.S. 922, 121 S.Ct. 2535, 150 L.Ed.2d 705 (2001), overruled in part on other grounds by United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1277-80 (11th Cir.2001), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 942, 122 S.Ct. 1327, 152 L.Ed.2d 234 (2002); United States v. Anderson, 236 F.3d 427, 429 (8th C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
162 cases
  • U.S. v. Leahy, No. 03-4490.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 15, 2006
    ...States v. Ochoa, 311 F.3d 1133, 1135 (9th Cir.2002); United States v. Wilson, 244 F.3d 1208 (10th Cir.2001); United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1262 (11th Cir.2001); United States v. Fields, 251 F.3d 1041, 1043 17. Sosebee also relies in part upon our holding in Syme. See 419 F.3d at ......
  • U.S. v. Duncan, No. 03-15315.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • February 24, 2005
    ...to plain error review, and that a sufficiency of the evidence objection is not a constitutional objection); United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1280 (11th Cir.2001) (en banc) (applying plain error review where Apprendi claim raised for the first time on appeal). The fact that Booker wa......
  • U.S. v. Barrington, No. 09–15295.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • August 11, 2011
    ...did not object to the district court's instructions. Fed.R.Crim.P. 30(d); United States v. Belfast, supra; United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1280–81 (11th Cir.2001) (en banc), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 942, 122 S.Ct. 1327, 152 L.Ed.2d 234 (2002).14 The district court instructed the jury......
  • State v. Allen, No. 485PA04.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • July 1, 2005
    ...cert. denied, 533 U.S. 922, 121 S.Ct. 2535, 150 L.Ed.2d 705 (2001), overruled in part on other grounds by United States v. Sanchez, 269 F.3d 1250, 1277-80 (11th Cir.2001), cert. denied, 535 U.S. 942, 122 S.Ct. 1327, 152 L.Ed.2d 234 (2002); United States v. Anderson, 236 F.3d 427, 429 (8th C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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