United States v. Anchundia-Espinoza, No. 17-40584 (5th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess, with the intent to distribute, cocaine while aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 46 U.S.C. 70503(a)(1), 70506(a) & (b) and 21 U.S.C. 960. The court followed its precedent in strictly construing the safety valve provision and holding that section 70503 was not specifically provided for under 18 U.S.C. 3553(f), but also was not an offense under section 960. Therefore, the district court did not err by denying defendant safety valve relief. The court further held that the district court did not clearly err by denying defendant a two-level sentencing reduction in his offense level for playing a minor role in the conspiracy.