Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Cruz-Rivera

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

September 14, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
CARLOS CRUZ-RIVERA, a/k/a CHIQUI, a/k/a CANO, a/k/a CANO LLORENS, Defendant, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO Hon. José Antonio Fusté, U.S. District Judge.

          Ines McGillion, with whom Ines McGillion Law Offices, PLLC, was on brief, for appellant.

          Mainon A. Schwartz, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney, were on brief, for appellee.

          Before Thompson, Kayatta, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

          BARRON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Carlos Cruz-Rivera ("Cruz") appeals his convictions and sentence for federal carjacking and weapons counts. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I.

         On September 9, 2015, Cruz was indicted in the District of Puerto Rico on three counts of carjacking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119 and three counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which prohibits using or carrying a "firearm" during a "crime of violence." Id. § 924(c)(1)(A). Carjacking in violation of § 2119 was the predicate "crime of violence" for each of the § 924(c) counts. In addition, the indictment charged Cruz with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

         Cruz pleaded guilty to the three carjacking counts and proceeded to trial on the remaining four counts. In doing so, he stipulated that he had committed the carjacking offenses. However, at the close of the government's evidence, and again at the close of his own evidence, Cruz moved for a judgment of acquittal as to the three § 924(c) counts. He did so on the ground that the underlying carjacking in violation of § 2119 that served as the predicate crime for each of these counts did not qualify as a "crime of violence" for purposes of § 924(c). See Fed. R. Crim. P. 29.

         The District Court denied both motions. On October 15, 2015, a jury convicted Cruz of all of the remaining counts. Cruz was then sentenced to 872 months of prison and five years of supervised release. This appeal followed.

         II.

         We begin with Cruz's contentions that none of his three convictions for carjacking under § 2119 were for an offense that qualifies as a "crime of violence" under § 924(c) and thus that these convictions cannot stand. Cruz preserved this issue below, which is one of law, and so our review is de novo. United States v. Willings, 588 F.3d 56, 58 (1st Cir. 2009).

         Section 924(c) makes it a crime for "any person [to], during and in relation to any crime of violence . . . use[] or carr[y] a firearm, or [to], in furtherance of any such crime, possess[] a firearm[.]" 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). Section 924(c) then defines a "crime of violence" as follows:

[A]n offense that is a felony and (A) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, [the force clause] or (B) that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.