US v. Sandra Lara, No. 13-4239 (4th Cir. 2013)

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 13-4239 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. SANDRA LARA, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Florence. Terry L. Wooten, Chief District Judge. (4:09-cr-00232-TLW-5) Submitted: November 19, 2013 Before WYNN and Circuit Judge. FLOYD, Circuit Decided: November 21, 2013 Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Kathy Price Elmore, ORR ELMORE & ERVIN, LLC, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellant. Alfred William Walker Bethea, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney, Florence, South Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Sandra Lara pled guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and fifty grams or more of crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) (2012) and 21 U.S.C. § 846 (2012). The district court sentenced Lara to 135 months imprisonment, which was the bottom of her advisory Guidelines range. Counsel for Lara has filed this appeal pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), certifying grounds for appeal. that there are no meritorious Although advised of her right to do so, Lara has declined to file a pro se supplemental brief. Government has not filed a response brief. The For the reasons that follow, we affirm. We have reviewed the transcript of Lara s Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 hearing and conclude that Lara s guilty plea was knowing and voluntary and supported by an independent basis in fact. We thus affirm Lara s conviction. We sentence. next consider the reasonableness of Lara s When determining a sentence, the district court must calculate the appropriate advisory Guidelines range and consider it in conjunction § 3553(a) (2012). (2007). with the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 49 50 Appellate review of a district court s imposition of a 2 sentence, whether inside, just outside, or significantly outside the Guidelines range, is for abuse of discretion. Id. at 41. The district court followed the necessary procedural steps in sentencing Lara, appropriately treating the Sentencing Guidelines as advisory, properly calculating and considering the applicable Guidelines range, and weighing the relevant § 3553(a) sentencing factors. the sentence. The court provided sufficient reasoning for Furthermore, the within-Guidelines sentence is presumptively substantively reasonable. See United States v. Bynum, 604 F.3d 161, 168-69 (4th Cir. 2010). Neither counsel nor Lara offer any ground upon which to question the substantive reasonableness of Lara s sentence, and we discern none. We thus conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the chosen sentence. In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the district court s judgment. This court requires that counsel inform Lara, in writing, of her right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Lara requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move representation. this court for leave to withdraw from Counsel s motion must state that a copy thereof 3 was served on Lara. facts and materials legal before We dispense with oral argument because the contentions are adequately this and argument court presented would not in the aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4