FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO Hon. Juan M. Pérez-Giménez, U.S.
L. Gordon on brief for appellant.
A. Schwartz, Assistant United States Attorney, Nelson
Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief,
Appellate Division, and Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, on
brief for appellee.
Lynch, Selya, and Thompson, Circuit Judges.
THOMPSON, Circuit Judge.
involvement in various illegal drug-related activities,
Defendant-Appellant Angel Abner Betancourt-Pérez was
indicted in three separate criminal cases, which were
resolved by a single plea agreement. Betancourt-Pérez
now appeals his sentence, arguing that the district court
should have accepted the plea agreement's guideline
calculations. But since Betancourt-Pérez waived his
right to appeal, we dismiss.
Arrest and Indictments
5, 2010, the government unsealed an indictment charging 70
co-conspirators for their participation in a large drug
trafficking organization known as "El Castillo, "
which operated out of a public housing project in Carolina,
Puerto Rico, and its surrounding areas.
Betancourt-Pérez, one of El Castillo's
"runners, " was among those indicted on various drug
and firearm counts.
an arrest warrant was issued for Betancourt-Pérez, he
remained a fugitive for over a year. Finally, on May 10,
2011, after receiving a tip, law enforcement agents
surveilled Betancourt-Pérez's apartment and
observed him loading boxes (in which large quantities of
marijuana were later found) into a vehicle in the parking
lot. They arrested Betancourt-Pérez that day, and also
executed a search warrant for his apartment where they found
and seized more drugs and a gun. Based on what the agents had
observed and seized at the apartment, the government filed a
second indictment, charging Betancourt-Pérez with two
drug counts and a firearm count.
it turns out, Betancourt-Pérez was not only a member
of El Castillo's operations, but also a part of another
drug conspiracy -- this one engaged in sourcing marijuana
from Mexico, California, and Florida, and distributing it
throughout Puerto Rico. For these separate drug-related
activities, Betancourt-Pérez was indicted a third
Plea Deal and Sentencing
parties eventually negotiated a plea deal that resolved the
charges in all three of Betancourt-Pérez's
criminal cases. As part of the deal, Betancourt-Pérez
agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess
with intent to distribute from each of the three indictments,
involving between 3.5 and 5 kilograms of cocaine, between 2
and 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, and between 100 and 400
kilograms of marijuana, respectively, as well as one count
from the second indictment for possession of a firearm in
furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
of the relatedness of the drug crimes, the plea deal grouped
the three conspiracy counts together, and calculated a
guideline range of 51 to 63 months (an erroneous calculation,
the parties now agree).As for the firearm charge, as
provided for by U.S.S.G. § 2K2.4(b), the plea agreement
assigned a consecutive guideline sentence equal to the
statutory minimum, in this case 60 months, 18 U.S.C. §
plea agreement went on to memorialize a joint sentencing
recommendation: concurrent sentences of 60 to 120 months for
the three conspiracy counts, and a consecutive 60-month
sentence for the firearm charge. The agreement also contained
a provision in which Betancourt-Pérez waived his right