United States v. Castro, No. 15-11059 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2015, defendant-appellant Guadalupe Castro and Cynthia Uribe were arrested for transporting six bricks of heroin weighing 5,992 grams in their vehicle, which Castro was driving. In post-arrest interviews, Castro and Uribe admitted to transporting narcotics for a drug trafficking organization (“DTO”). A federal grand jury charged Castro with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Castro pled guilty. During pre-sentencing, Probation did not recommend a mitigating role adjustment under section 3B1.2 in Castro’s Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”). Despite Castro’s objection, in the PSR’s Addendum, Probation maintained that Castro was not entitled to an adjustment. In a pre-sentencing order and at sentencing, the district court concluded that Castro’s objection was without merit. Castro appealed, asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the district court’s judgment and remand for resentencing because: (1) the district court committed clear error by adopting Probation’s interpretation of section 3B1.2, which Amendment 794 clarifies was the wrong standard because it focuses on the integral nature of Castro’s role in the drug conspiracy; and (2) the court’s error was not harmless. Finding no reversible error, the Fifth Circuit affirmed.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 15, 2016.