FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO [Hon. Francisco A. Besosa, U.S. District Judge]
José R. Olmo-Rodríguez on brief for appellant.
A. Schwartz, Assistant United States Attorney, Mariana E.
Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney,
Chief, Appellate Division, and Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, on
brief for appellee.
Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Lynch, Circuit Judges.
The district court sentenced Aurelio Llanos-Falero to 137
months of imprisonment after he pled guilty to bank robbery,
see 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), 2113(d), and 2,
and to brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a
crime of violence, see id. §§
924(c)(1)(A)(ii), and 2. The district court ordered that this
sentence run consecutively with Llanos-Falero's sentences
for Puerto Rico law convictions for domestic assault and
illegal possession of a submachine gun. Llanos-Falero appeals
the district court's sentence, arguing that the
sentencing judge failed to make the proper inquiry into the
effects of Llanos-Falero's medication on his competence
to enter a plea, that the sentencing judge failed to warn
Llanos-Falero before accepting his plea that his federal
sentence might be imposed consecutively with his Puerto Rico
sentences, and that the consecutively imposed federal
sentence is unreasonable. We affirm the sentence.
2011, while serving a four-year probation sentence for a
robbery, Llanos-Falero conspired with at least two associates
to rob a Banco Santander de Puerto Rico branch in Cabo Rojo,
Puerto Rico. As admitted in his plea agreement, he
"selected the branch, conducted surveillance on the
bank, planned the method of the robbery, including the use
and carrying of a firearm in the presence of customers and
employees, as well as the entry and egress points to and from
24, 2011, an associate of Llanos-Falero drew police away from
the vicinity of the bank with a bogus 911 call while
Llanos-Falero drove two other associates to the bank. The two
associates entered the bank, one of them took out a loaded
12-gauge shotgun, and they ordered those inside the bank to
the floor. They stole approximately $38, 813 of deposits
insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Because
one of the bank employees was able to activate the bank's
silent alarm, the two associates were arrested about ten
minutes after the start of the robbery. Initially, they did
not disclose Llanos-Falero's participation in the
robbery. As a result, Llanos-Falero was not arrested at that
time in connection with the robbery.
the robbery and before being charged with federal crimes for
his participation in it, Llanos-Falero committed a number of
other offenses. In October 2012, he was sentenced by a Puerto
Rico court to 1 year and 9 months of imprisonment for two
counts of domestic violence. In 2013, he pled guilty to
charges stemming from illegal possession of a submachine gun
in 2012 and was sentenced by a Puerto Rico court to a further
7 years of incarceration.
was indicted for federal crimes related to the bank robbery
in April 2014, while serving his Puerto Rico law
sentences. The indictment charged three counts: an
aiding and abetting violation of armed robbery, see
18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), 2113(d), and 2 (Count One);
an aiding and abetting violation of brandishing a firearm
during and in relation to a crime of violence, see
id. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), and 2 (Count Two);
and being a felon in knowing possession of a firearm in
interstate commerce, see id. §§ 922(g)(1),
924(a)(2) (Count Three).
to a plea agreement, Llanos-Falero pled guilty to the first
two counts on July 3, 2014. The parties recommended,
"[a]fter due consideration of the relevant factors
enumerated in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), " an adjusted
advisory Sentencing Guidelines offense level of 22 for Count
One, and did not stipulate as to criminal history category. A
Pre-Sentence Investigation Report, prepared for
Llanos-Falero's sentencing, concluded that Llanos-Falero
had 11 criminal history points and a criminal history
category of V. The plea agreement recommended
"a sentence of 72 months as to Count One and 60 months
for Count Two to be served consecutively for a total sentence
of 132 months, or 11 years of imprisonment." The plea
agreement further stated that "[t]he parties jointly
recommend[ed], as to Count One, that this federal sentence be
imposed to run concurrently with defendant's Commonwealth
of Puerto Rico sentence currently being served."
the plea agreement, Llanos-Falero "knowingly and
voluntarily waive[d] the right to appeal the judgment and
sentence in [his federal] case, provided that [he was]
sentenced in accordance with the terms and conditions set
forth in the Sentence Recommendation provision of [the] Plea
Agreement." He further acknowledged that he was
"aware that his sentence [wa]s within the sound
discretion of the judge and of the advisory nature of the
Guidelines"; that "the [district court] [wa]s not a
party to this Plea and Forfeiture Agreement and thus [wa]s
not bound by this agreement or the sentencing calculations
and recommendations contained"; that "the [district
court] ha[d] jurisdiction and authority to impose any
sentence within the statutory maximum set for the offense to
which [he] [wa]s pleading guilty"; that "the
[district court] m[ight] accept or reject the Plea and
Forfeiture Agreement"; and that "[s]hould the Court
impose a sentence up to the maximum established by statute,
[he] c[ould not], for that reason alone, withdraw his guilty
plea, and w[ould] remain bound to fulfill all of the
obligations under this Plea and Forfeiture Agreement."
3, 2014, the district court held a change-of-plea hearing. In
the course of the hearing, the sentencing judge asked if
Llanos-Falero had been recently treated for a mental illness.
Llanos-Falero responded that he had been treated for bipolar
disorder and stress. In response to the sentencing
judge's questions, Llanos-Falero also said that he had
been prescribed "Elavil, Vistaril, and another"
medication, that he continued to take those medications twice
a day, and that he had taken them the morning of the hearing.
When asked "Do you feel okay today?" by the
sentencing judge, immediately after that colloquy,
Llanos-Falero responded "Yes, I do, ...