APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE. Hon. John A. Woodcock, Jr., U.S. District Judge.
Mary Davis and Tisdale & Davis, P.A. on brief for appellant.
Thomas E. Delahanty II, United States Attorney, and Renée M. Bunker, Assistant United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.
Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Howard and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
HOWARD, Circuit Judge.
Defendant-Appellant Robert Rossignol pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and to failing to report the importation of more than $10,000 in United States currency. Both charges stemmed from Rossignol's role in an international drug smuggling conspiracy
stretching from New Brunswick, Canada to Houston, Texas. The district court imposed a below guidelines sentence of 120 months in prison. On appeal, Rossignol contends that his sentence is substantively unreasonable. We affirm his sentence.
Because Rossignol pled guilty, our discussion of the facts is drawn from the change-of-plea colloquy, the Presentence Report (PSR), and the transcript of the sentencing hearing. See United States v. Cintron-Echautegui, 604 F.3d 1, 2 (1st Cir. 2010).
From at least January 1, 2011 until June 28, 2012, Rossignol was a member of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine that spanned the Canadian-United States border. Because he was a well-known member of the Van Buren, Maine border community, Rossignol was responsible for transporting cash and drugs across the border. A typical transaction in that conspiracy occurred as follows. In Canada, a co-conspirator, " A", would provide Rossignol with considerable amounts of cash. Rossignol would then transport that cash across the border into the United States, delivering it to a third member of the conspiracy. That third person, " B", in turn, would transport the money to Texas where he would meet up with " A" . " A" would then secure multiple kilograms of cocaine from suppliers in Texas, which " B" would transport by car back to northern Maine. Those drugs were handed off to Rossignol, who resumed his border-crossing role and would drive the drugs into Canada for delivery to " A" or " B" . Rossignol was compensated for each successful round of cross-border smuggling.
The last successful trip before Rossignol's arrest took place in February or March of 2012 and involved the transport of eight kilograms of cocaine from Maine into Canada. During the subsequent, stymied trip that led to his arrest, Rossignol entered the United States from Canada at Hamlin, Maine while carrying some $300,000 in United States and Canadian currency, which he failed to report.
Over the course of their investigation, federal agents learned that Rossignol was also involved in the transportation of firearms, providing the basis of a sentencing enhancement the district court later imposed. " A" and " B" purchased several handguns from members of the conspiracy in Texas and transported those guns to Maine. Pursuant to a " side agreement" between Rossignol and " B", Rossignol took those guns into Canada at " B" 's request for an additional $200. Rossignol separately carried another gun into Canada for " A" 's personal use.
Rossignol was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 846 and 841(a)(1), and one count of failing to report the importation of more than $10,000 in United States currency, in violation of 31 U.S.C. § § 5316(a)(1)(B), 5316(b), and 5322. He pled guilty to both counts. The PSR calculated a guidelines sentencing range of 135 to 168 months, which included a two-level dangerous weapons enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1). At sentencing, the district ...