United States v. Sonya Hernandez ( 2016 )

  •                  United States Court of Appeals
                                For the Eighth Circuit
                                    No. 16-1135
                                 United States of America
                           lllllllllllllllllllll Plaintiff - Appellee
                                  Sonya Lee Hernandez
                          lllllllllllllllllllll Defendant - Appellant
                        Appeal from United States District Court
                      for the Northern District of Iowa - Ft. Dodge
                              Submitted: December 20, 2016
                                Filed: December 20, 2016
    Before SMITH, BOWMAN, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
         After pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, Sonya
    Hernandez appeals the district court’s1 below-Guidelines sentence. Hernandez’s
          The Honorable Linda R. Reade, Chief Judge, United States District Court for
    the Northern District of Iowa.
    counsel has moved to withdraw and has filed a brief filed under Anders v. California,
    386 U.S. 738
     (1967), arguing that the district court erred by not departing further, and
    by imposing an unreasonable sentence. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291,
    this court affirms.
            The extent of the district court’s departure is not reviewable on appeal. See
    United States v. Williams, 
    324 F.3d 1049
    , 1050 (8th Cir. 2003) (per curiam) (extent
    of downward departure is not subject to review, unless defendant makes substantial
    showing that district court’s refusal to depart further was based on unconstitutional
    motive). This court finds that the district court did not abuse its discretion in
    sentencing Hernandez because it imposed the below-Guidelines sentence after
    considering the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. See United States v. Miller, 
    557 F.3d 910
    , 917 (8th Cir. 2009) (under substantive-reasonableness test, district court abuses
    its discretion if it fails to consider relevant § 3553(a) factor, gives significant weight
    to improper or irrelevant factor, or commits clear error of judgment in weighing
    factors); United States v. Moore, 
    581 F.3d 681
    , 684 (8th Cir. 2009) (per curiam)
    (“[W]here a district court has sentenced a defendant below the advisory guidelines
    range, it is nearly inconceivable that the court abused its discretion in not varying
    downward still further.”). Having independently reviewed the record pursuant to
    Penson v. Ohio, 
    488 U.S. 75
     (1988), this court finds no non-frivolous issues for
          The judgment is affirmed and counsel’s motion to withdraw is granted.