US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Suarez
Opinion Date: January 12, 2018
Judge: Priscilla R. Owen
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for his involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy and for firearm offenses. The court held that defendant's convictions were supported by sufficient evidence. However, the court vacated defendant's sentence, holding that the mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months of imprisonment was inapplicable. In this case, the court could not say that the jury "surely" would have found that defendant possessed the shotgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking at the time alleged in the indictment. Therefore, the court exercised its discretion under the plain error standard of review to remand to the district court for resentencing.
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