United States v. Grimaldo, No. 19-50151 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Defendant was arrested with nearly a quarter pound of methamphetamine and an inoperable pistol on his person. He was found guilty of simple possession of methamphetamine and pleaded guilty for being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. The district court sentenced defendant to 120-months in prison after applying a four-level sentencing enhancement for possession of a weapon in connection with another felony (simple possession) under USSG 2K2.1(b)(6)(B).
After determining that defendant did not waive the issue, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in concluding that defendant's pistol emboldened him to possess methamphetamine where the district court made no findings that defendant's firearm made his drug possession more likely. The panel vacated the 120-month sentence on the felon-in-possession count and remanded for further consideration. The panel also vacated the concurrent 36-month sentence for the possession count because the parties agree that the district court erred in exceeding the maximum applicable sentence. The panel remanded for further proceedings. Finally, the panel explained that nothing in the plain text of Fed. R. Crim. P. 32 requires excluding from a presentence report prior arrests for which there was no conviction. Therefore, the panel concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion to strike portions of his presentence report.