United States v. Mercedes Leon, No. 18-1600 (1st Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court accepting Defendant's straight guilty plea to the charging of illegal reentry of an alien who had previously been removed from the United States, 8 U.S.C. 1326(a), holding that the record permitted a conclusion that the plea had a rational basis in fact.
On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in accepting his plea because he did not "voluntarily" re-enter the United States, and therefore, his guilty plea lacked an adequate basis in fact and that the district court violated Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 by not ascertaining whether Defendant understood the elements of the crime charged. The First Circuit disagreed, holding that the district court did not err in deciding to accept the plea and in determining that Defendant's guilty plea was knowing and intelligent.