United States v. Games-Perez, No. 11-1011 (10th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant-Appellant Miguel Games-Perez was indicted for possession of a firearm by a felon. Claiming that he was unaware that he was actually a felon, he filed a motion in limine, seeking a pre-trial ruling that the government was required to prove that he actually knew he was a felon. When that motion was denied, Defendant filed a motion to enter a conditional guilty plea, asking to reserve the right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion in limine. The district court granted Defendant's motion, pursuant to which he entered his conditional guilty plea. The district court sentenced him to fifty-seven months' imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Defendant appealed his sentence, arguing that his case was distinguishable from established case law that held scienter was not required to be convicted of possession as a convicted felon. Upon review of Defendant's criminal history and his then-current probation, the Tenth Circuit concluded Defendant had a constructive knowledge of having been a felon: "it was pellucidly clear to him that he could not violate his probation, by possessing a firearm, and escape the consequences of his felony conviction. Thus, Mr. Games-Perez knew, as a matter of fact, that he was losing the benefit of his bargain when he picked up a gun while on probation. He just did not know the legal consequences of it–up to ten years in federal prison." The Court affirmed the district court's decision.
The court issued a Revised version of this opinion on September 17, 2012.