United States v. Rivera-Ruperto, No. 12-2364 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After two trials, Appellant was found guilty of various federal drug and firearms-related crimes for his participation in six “Operation Guard Shack” drug deals orchestrated by the FBI. Each trial was presided over by a different district judge. Thus, there were two cases on appeal. In this present appeal from the first trial, Appellant argued that the district court committed several reversible errors. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err when it denied Appellant’s claim for ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea-bargaining stage; (2) did not commit obvious error in failing to instruct the jury that it was required to find drug quantity beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) did not clearly err in denying Appellant’s sentencing manipulation claim; and (4) did not sentence Appellant to a grossly disproportionate sentence in violation of the Eighth Amendment.