US v. Rodolpho Trujillo, No. 13-4058 (4th Cir. 2013)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 13-4058 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. RODOLPHO TRUJILLO, a/k/a Rudy, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Max O. Cogburn, Jr., District Judge. (3:11-cr-00288-MOC-1) Submitted: November 25, 2013 Decided: December 4, 2013 Before SHEDD, AGEE, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Matthew G. Pruden, TIN, FULTON, WALKER & OWEN, PLLC, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Amy Elizabeth Ray, Assistant United States Attorney, Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Rodolpho imposed pursuant by Trujillo the to a district appeals court written plea the 135-month following agreement, his to sentence guilty plea, conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms §§ 841(a)(1), of 846 cocaine, (2012), in and violation conspiracy of to 21 U.S.C. commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (2012). On appeal, Trujillo s counsel filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), asserting that there are no meritorious grounds for appeal but Trujillo s trial counsel was ineffective. se supplemental brief, in which he questioning whether Trujillo filed a pro claims that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, that the drug amount on which his sentence was based was erroneous, that there was insufficient evidence to support the money laundering conviction and related increase to his base offense level, and that there exists an unwarranted sentencing disparity between himself and a co-conspirator. Finding no error, we affirm. The sole issue raised in the Anders brief is whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing to take the steps necessary to ensure that Trujillo received the benefit of the safety valve provision. A defendant can raise the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel . . . on direct appeal if and 2 only if it conclusively appears from the record that his counsel did not provide effective assistance . . . . Martinez, 136 ineffective F.3d 972, assistance requirements: 979 (4th the Cir. defendant United States v. 1998). must To prove satisfy two (1) that counsel s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness ; and (2) that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688, 694 (1984). In the context of a guilty plea, in order to satisfy the prejudice requirement, the defendant must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel s errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 59 (1985). going to trial. The present record does not conclusively demonstrate that counsel was ineffective. Thus, Trujillo s claim is not cognizable on direct appeal. In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record, including Trujillo s pro se arguments, and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. court s judgment. This We therefore affirm the district court requires that counsel inform Trujillo, in writing, of his right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. that a petition be filed, but counsel If Trujillo requests believes that such a petition would be frivolous, counsel may move in this court for 3 leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel s motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Trujillo. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4