United States v. Maldonado-Ochoa, No. 15-40424 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport an illegal alien within the United States and two counts of transporting an illegal alien within the United States for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's application of a sentencing enhancement for "intentionally or recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person" under USSG 2L1.1(b)(6). The enhancement was for transporting unrestrained illegal aliens for an extremely short distance. The court concluded that the moment defendant started to drive with unrestrained persons lying in the bed of his truck, he subjected them to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.