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Drug Conspiracy Sentence Affirmed

By FindLaw Staff on May 10, 2010 10:58 AM

In US v. Garcia, No. 08-50458, the Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy sentence, holding that defendant's plea agreement left the district court to use the guidelines, with the exception that the term of imprisonment could not fall below 240 months, and the district court executed the plea agreement as originally written.

As the court wrote:  "Through an agreement with the government, Marco A. Garcia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine and 50 or more grams of crack, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 846. The district court accepted the plea agreement - which provided for a minimum prison term of 240 months - and, after calculating Garcia's guidelines range, sentenced him to 262 months. After retroactive implementation of the crack sentencing amendments, Garcia moved to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The district court granted the motion and changed Garcia's sentence to 240 months, the minimum stipulated to in the plea agreement. Garcia appeals, urging that the district court erred in holding that the plea agreement prevented further reduction. After confirming the district court had jurisdiction to modify Garcia's sentence, we affirm."

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