US v. Diana Toebbe, No. 22-4689 (4th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit granted the government’s motion to dismiss Defendant’s appeal based on the appeal waiver in Defendant’s plea agreement.Defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to conspiracy to communicate, transmit, or disclose Restricted Data of the United States Navy relating to Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines with the intent to injure the United States or to secure an advantage to a foreign nation. At sentencing, the district court calculated her Sentencing Guidelines range and sentenced Defendant to 262 months imprisonment, which was at the bottom of that range. Defendant contends that “the district court so severely infected the sentencing [and] the sentencing process that [her] due process rights were violated during the course of the sentencing hearing to an extent that could not have been contemplated by, and transcends, the appeal waiver.” She also contends that the government, in its appellate brief, breached the plea agreement and therefore that the agreement “is now void” and the “waiver in it is invalid.” The government filed a motion to dismiss the appeal based on the appeal waiver in Defendant’s plea agreement.
The Fourth Circuit granted the government’s motion to dismiss. The court concluded that Defendant had failed to make a sufficient showing to avoid the clear terms of her plea agreement, which she acknowledges she entered into knowingly and intelligently. The court also concluded that the government did not breach the plea agreement. Further, the court noted that the plea agreement provided further that once the district court exercised its authority to sentence Defendant, the government was authorized to advance arguments on appeal in support of that sentence.