Patterico's Pontifications

8/6/2008

Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila Sentenced

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,Immigration — DRJ @ 1:32 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The El Paso Times reports:

“Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was sentenced to 9 1/2 years Wednesday for smuggling more than 100 kilos of marijuana in 2005.”

Aldrete-Davila was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, the same judge who sentenced Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

— DRJ

26 Responses to “Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila Sentenced”

  1. Does anyone know what the sentencing guidelines are for the crimes for which A-D was convicted? Was there any discretion vested in the judge?

    Ed (841b4a)

  2. Now that Aldrete-Davila’s been convicted and sentenced (FOR LESS TIME THAN RAMOS & COMPEAN), Johnny Sutton can’t hide behind “this is an ongoing investigation…”

    As a staffer for Dana Rohrabacher alleged on Glenn Beck’s radio program July 29, 2008, was Aldrete-Davila NOT arrested by the DEA and Border Patrol for the October 2005 “second load” on the orders of Johnny Sutton?

    SETMAYER:[…]According to the DEA report which we were able to obtain, about six months after all hell broke loose, they had already been convicted and Johnny Sutton was denying that the October load ever happened and he was, you know, speaking in lawyer, lawyerly terms to try to deny that that had ever happened because it was all under seal. One day the DEA documents show up at my door and it was proof and it was a full account of what happened in October of 2005 before the trial. And what happened is that Davila was identified as dropping off a load of 800 pounds of drugs at a stash house in Texas. When the DEA and border patrol raided that stash house, they were told by the U.S. attorney’s office that no one was to be taken into custody at that time. That came from Johnny Sutton’s office. So it’s very curious why they didn’t pursue arresting anyone at the stash house even though they fully identified — the occupants of that stash house fully identified Aldrete Davila as being the individual who dropped off that load of drugs. So no, technically he wasn’t arrested. Why the hell not.

    I want some maddog answers from the record, primary among them this: Was A-D in possession of a gun at the time?

    A warning in advance, WLS — you’re not going to make this controversy go away by just fired ad hominems at reporters, bloggers, pundits and others who have relevant questions that haven’t been sufficiently answered. I will NOT accept any form of “You don’t know anything about the system, shaddup!” as an answer!

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  3. Anyone know if this was a midterm or aggravated sentence? I know it was not a mitigated sentence based on negative comments from the judge.

    BTW, I want to thank Patterico and DRJ for making this the best place in the internet to get information about this case.

    Tracy (f6a46e)

  4. I read somewhere that Ramos and Jose Compean had lost their appeal. What now?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  5. LN – This seems to be a sore spot for you?

    JD (712926)

  6. The federal sentencing guidelines are advisory.

    The sentencing judge has 100% discretion in terms of what sentence to impose.

    The advisory guidelines on drug cases are most influenced by the quantity of drugs involved.

    But, as I understand the facts leading to his arrest, the information concerning his involvement came for the occupant of the stash house — in other words, A-D was not arrested “in the act.” In that situation, it’s hard to imagine that he would have been charged with a firearm count, or that an enhancement under the guidelines would have been applied or “possessing” a firearm.

    Without having the Presentence Report — which, unfortunately is filed under seal because it includes much personal information about a defendant in addition to information about the crime — its impossible to know exactly how the sentence was calculated. I can reverse-engineer it to a certain degree by knowing the sentence he ended up with, if I can find out how much MJ was used by the court to calculate his sentence.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  7. 5

    “I read somewhere that Ramos and Jose Compean had lost their appeal. What now?”

    Actually they obtained a reversal on some counts. The next step is they get resentenced based only on the counts that were upheld. Since these include the one with the 10 year minimum this won’t make a big difference.

    They can also appeal to the Supreme Court, probably a real longshot. Or they can try to make the case for a pardon. In view of their total lack of contrition and the insulting remarks their supporters have directed at Bush and Sutton I would not expect this. But who knows? Maybe they will have a better chance in a few years particularly with some show of regret. Otherwise they will serve most or all of their sentences.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  8. Do we get to see the details of the “investigation” now or does Sutton get to bury this for eternity?

    How does one go about finding out how Cipriano Ortiz wasn’t tried for his half ton of marijuana bust at his house in 2002, 3 years before the Davila incident?

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  9. The article says the judge sentenced him for more than 100 kgs.

    The Guidelines establish the “base offense level” for 100-400 Kgs as Level 26.

    The guidelines have a grid, where the verticle axis is the “adjusted offense level” and the horizontal axis is “criminal history score”.

    Where the two come together you find a range of months which is the “guideline range.”

    A-D pled guilty, so he gets a 3 level reduction in his base offense level. So 26 would be reduced to 23.

    The sentence of 9 1/2 years, is 114 months.

    The closest guideline number is a ranage of 92-115 months.

    But that number only exists at adjusted offense levels 23, 24, and 26, with different criminal histories. B

    For it to be Offense Level 23, the sentence would have to be at the upper end of the range, and A-D would have had a criminal history category of VI — which is the highest. That would have come out during trial, as it would mean he had multiple felony convictions. Since it didn’t come out at trial, and there was no effort by the defense to introduce multiple convictions, I’m certain his criminal history score is much lower.

    So, the calculation she used is not obvious to me from looking at the GL possibilities, but she certainly increased his base offense level with some aggravating factors. Its just not clear which ones. We’ll need more complete reporting in order to figure out what variables she relied upon.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  10. There is no press release (yet) from Sutton’s office. It might provide a little more detail on the sentencing.

    The Judge would have set forth her sentencing calculations in her oral pronouncement of sentence, so if there was a good reporter in the courtroom, there is a chance we will get a good explanation as to how she arrived at the number she did.

    But, in looking over the guidelines again, I think she had to go up at least 7 levels from level 23.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  11. This story has some detail on the sentences. Basically he pled to four counts gets 4 sentences of 57 months with pairs being served concurrently.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  12. They can also appeal to the Supreme Court, probably a real longshot. Or they can try to make the case for a pardon. In view of their total lack of contrition and the insulting remarks their supporters have directed at Bush and Sutton I would not expect this.

    Oh, and it’s SO undeserved. It’s not as if Presidente “Jobs Americans Won’t Do” Arbusto hasn’t just nodded his head every time Mexico City says it thinks Los Estados Unidos is unfair to people who break its laws.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  13. WLS – Thank you very much for your input!

    It seems that A-D was given a substantial sentence. For now, I won’t be outraged relative to the R&C sentences. Of course, I remain outraged at Sutton’s overall conduct. However, it seems that the judge applied the guidelines evenly.

    Thanks again, WLS.

    Ed (841b4a)

  14. Wow, what’s not to like about this? The smuggler goes to jail, the guys who tried to cover up their shooting him go to jail, and the conspiracy freaks and bigots will keep themselves busy for years to come complaining about the injustice of it all.

    stevesturm (8f0fbc)

  15. stevesturm wrote: Wow, what’s not to like about this? The smuggler goes to jail, the guys who tried to cover up their shooting him go to jail, and the conspiracy freaks and bigots will keep themselves busy for years to come complaining about the injustice of it all.

    …And people who don’t mind having the wool pulled over their eyes can feel superior!

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  16. OK — the 57 months sentences begin to make some sense. Here’s how it works (again with reverse engineering, and no personal knowledge of what the Judge ACTUALLY did).

    57 months is probably the result of an adjusted offense level 23, with a criminal history category of I — that means no prior criminal history. Since none was ever brought out at trial, and the defense received A-D’s rap sheet before he testified, its likely that he had no prior criminal history — meaning no prior convictions.

    THe indictment against him charged two specific episodes of trafficking, and one conspiracy. One load he pled to was on Sept. 24, 2005, and the other was the October load.

    She gave him 57 months on each, and because they were separate instances of criminal conduct, she had the option available to her to make those two sentences consecutive to each other — meaning he serves 57 on the first without the sentence on the second running, and then serves 57 months on the second, for a total of 114 months, or 9 1/2 years.

    The sentence of 57 months is also the upper end of the GL range for level 23 — the range is 46-57 months. This is very unusual for a case involving a defendant with no prior convictions — they usually get the bottom end of the GL range.

    To then add to that by running two of the sentences consecutive to each other — well, that’s pretty much the epitome of throwing the book at him.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  17. 17

    “THe indictment against him charged two specific episodes of trafficking, and one conspiracy”

    Actually he pled to two counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to import and conspiracy with intent to distribute. Since this was a plea deal presumedly the number of counts was part of the negotiations.

    Anyone know what Cipriano Ortiz who pled out earlier got?

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  18. James B. — You are correct. I looked back at the press release in April that announced his guilty plea, and it does say there were two different conspiracy counts. That’s a little unusual, but in this case what that means is that A-D entered into different conspiracies with two groups of people. One was the traffickers in Mexico to import the MJ over the border, and the other were the persons in the US who stashed the MG — that would be the conspriracy to possess with the intent to distribute.

    She could have sentenced him to consecutive terms on the two conspiracies, since they involved different groups of individuals, and happened at different times.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  19. When are they going to prosecute this scum for perjury in the Ramos and Compean case? And when are they going to prosecute Sutton for suborning that perjury?

    Ken Hahn (7742d5)

  20. Oh, I don’t know; I should guess (1) when somebody produces evidence that OAD committed perjury, and (2) when somebody poduces evidence that Sutton suborned perjury.

    If anyone knows of any such evidence, by the way, I’d urge that he submit it to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility forthwith.

    DWF (fa4bb9)

  21. 21

    “Oh, I don’t know; I should guess (1) when somebody produces evidence that OAD committed perjury, and (2) when somebody poduces evidence that Sutton suborned perjury.”

    This is a little flip. Such prosecutions are unlikely even with evidence. The jury verdict indicated the jury believed Compean and Ramos were lying but they aren’t likely to be prosecuted for perjury.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  22. “This is a little flip.”

    Well, *yeah*.

    “Such prosecutions are unlikely even with evidence.”

    They are even more unlikely *without* evidence. Which was my point: There is no evidence to support the accusation made in post #20. Sorry if the flippancy distracted you.

    Since you raise the point, though: if the accusation made in #20 — that a United States Attorney suborned perjury to railroad two Border ptrol agents — were true, and could be proven to be true — do you *really* think DOJ-OPR wouldn’t be interested? I may be flip, but at least I’m not that cynical.

    DWF (b5b4de)

  23. 23

    “Since you raise the point, though: if the accusation made in #20 — that a United States Attorney suborned perjury to railroad two Border ptrol agents — were true, and could be proven to be true — do you *really* think DOJ-OPR wouldn’t be interested? I may be flip, but at least I’m not that cynical.”

    Prosecutors are very unenthusiastic about looking for evidence that undercuts convictions. Look at reluctant they have been about some of the DNA exonerations. So it is unlikely to get to the point where such accusations could be proven to be true. And even if it did it is very rare for prosecutors (or prosecution witnesses) to be criminally prosecuted for misconduct.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  24. WLS and James – Thanks much for the sentencing information.

    Tracy (f6a46e)

  25. Davila, unlike Ramos and Compean, was not a trained crime scene instructor, who instead of securing the crime scene as they had trained scores of others to do, instead sanitized the scene, recovered and removed bullet casings, and failed to report the incident for a month until after the Mexican government inquired about it.

    Vater (bbc421)


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