FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO [Hon. Carmen Consuelo Cerezo, U.S. District
Nemcik-Cruz on brief for appellant.
Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney, Mariana
E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief,
Appellate Division, and Thomas F. Klumper, Assistant U.S.
Attorney, on brief for appellee.
Howard, Chief Judge, Selya, Circuit Judge, and McConnell,
District Judge. [*]
HOWARD, Chief Judge.
("González") challenges the reasonableness
of his 33-month incarcerative sentence for possession of a
machine gun in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(o) and
924(a)(2). After careful consideration, we affirm.
August 2015, the Puerto Rico Police Department
("PRPD") executed a search warrant on a residence
in Río Grande, Puerto Rico, after receiving two
anonymous complaints about an individual (or individuals)
with a weapon at the address, and after a PRPD officer drove
by and saw an individual with a weapon outside the home. At
the time that the warrant was executed, a PRPD officer
arrested González, who was in the home and in
possession of a firearm. The PRPD seized the weapon, a .40
caliber Glock pistol, as well as two 22-round and two
15-round magazines, 52 rounds of ammunition, a Glock back
slide cover, a cellular phone, a weight scale, and small bags
commonly used for drug distribution. González admitted
to owning the gun, which he claimed that he had bought
because "it is fashion[able] in Puerto Rico, " and
he admitted to knowing that it was capable of firing
automatically. He also admitted to using marijuana between
seven and eight times per day and to taking Tramadol -- a
narcotic-like pain reliever -- frequently.
was transferred to federal custody and, ultimately, entered a
straight guilty plea to possession of a machine gun. The
Probation Office subsequently determined that U.S.S.G.
§2K2.1(a)(4)(B) was the applicable guideline and that --
after applying a three-level reduction for acceptance of
responsibility under §3E1.1 -- González's
total offense level was 17. When combined with
González's criminal history category of I, this
yielded an advisory guideline sentencing range of 24 to 30
months' imprisonment. González did not contest the
presentence investigation report ("PSR") prepared
by the Probation Office.
to his sentencing hearing, González submitted a
sentencing memorandum requesting a downward variance to 18
months' imprisonment, whereas the government requested an
upward variance to 33 months' imprisonment. The district
court sentenced González according to the
government's recommendation. The court explained that
González's "conduct [flouted] the law and . .
. represent[ed] a risk to the community." Therefore, the
court concluded, the variant sentence was "sufficient
but not greater than necessary to meet [the] objectives of
punishment and of deterrence in this case."
timely appeal followed.
of sentencing error such as González's trigger a
two-step inquiry: "we [must] first determine whether the
sentence imposed is procedurally reasonable and then
determine whether it is substantively reasonable."
United States v. Clogston, 662
F.3d 588, 590 (1st Cir. 2011). As González argues that
his 33-month sentence is both procedurally and substantively
unreasonable, we take up his arguments in turn.