FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO. Hon. Juan M. Pé rez-Gimé nez, U.S.
Herná ndez López de Victoria on brief for
Pé rez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief,
Appellate Division, Julia M. Meconiates, Assistant United
States Attorney, and Rosa Emilia Rodrí guez-Vé
lez, United States Attorney, on brief for appellee.
Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Lynch, Circuit Judges.
Antonio Rodrí guez-Caraballo, a former officer with
the Puerto Rico Police Department, pleaded guilty to making a
false declaration to a federal grand jury. The district court
sentenced him to forty-six months of imprisonment, a sentence
that was at the low end of his guideline sentencing range. On
appeal, he challenges the district court's denial of a
downward variance. We affirm.
operative indictment, returned by the grand jury on August 2,
2013, charged Rodrí guez-Caraballo with three counts:
providing misleading information to a law enforcement
officer, making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and making a false declaration to a federal
grand jury. The charges arose out of an investigation into
the beating death of an individual at the hands of three
Puerto Rico police officers and a subsequent cover-up of the
incident. Rodrí guez-Caraballo was not one of the
officers involved in the beating, but he did testify falsely
about the event before a grand jury.
August 25, 2014, Rodrí guez-Caraballo pleaded guilty
to one count of making a false declaration to a grand jury,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1623. In the plea agreement,
the parties jointly calculated a guideline sentencing range
of forty-six to fifty-seven months.
February 24, 2015, Rodrí guez-Caraballo filed a
sentencing memorandum that requested a downward variance to a
sentence of probation based on his age -- fifty-one years old
at the time of sentencing -- and his long history of public
service as a police officer.
February 27, 2015, Rodrí guez-Caraballo was sentenced
to forty-six months of imprisonment, to be followed by a
three-year term of supervised release. The district court
explained that it was denying Rodrí
guez-Caraballo's request for a variance because "
the conduct of this defendant was very detrimental not only
to the people of Puerto Rico but also to the Police of Puerto
Rico." The district court stated that " it is
unbecoming of a police officer with supervisory powers to lie
to the other law enforcement officers who are investigating
the commission of the offense, as grave as this one, where a
human being died," and it expressed its concern that
Rodrí guez-Caraballo's actions were a " very
bad example to . . . those officers
who are just entering ore have recently entered into service
with the Police of ...