Castillo continues to provide information as a confidential informant. Obviously, the central motivation in his doing so is to receive favorable consideration from the federal judge when he is finally sentenced. In this regard, you have frequent conversations with Castillo’s attorney who is diligent in making sure his client’s information will be to his benefit. During one of these conversations, his attorney refers to several provisions in the United States Sentencing Commission Guideline Manual. These guidelines will ultimately form the basis of the sentence Castillo is likely to receive. Each element of the offense, as well as the history and role of the defendant is assessed and adds up to the “score” that will determine the amount of time a particular defendant will be incarcerated.
After the conversation is over, you realize that you need to become more familiar with the guidelines and decide to work up the numbers on Castillo.
First, you need to decide what will occur regarding downward adjustments.
Use the Library and course resources for sentencing information and to consider informed opinions regarding mandatory sentencing.
You must use the federal sentencing guidelines to calculate the correct sentencing range for Hector Castillo (you can find the online version of the federal sentencing guideline manual in your phase resources).
To do so, find the most recent year’s set of Federal Sentencing Guidelines on the internet, then find all relevant sections of the guidelines for this case. In order to use the sentencing table within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines manual to calculate Castillo’s sentence, you will need to first use the manual to arrive at the proper base offense level for Castillo and then determine if any of the adjustments apply to Castillo’s case and adjust his offense level accordingly. You will also need to determine how many Criminal History points Castillo should receive (Chapter 4 of the manual).
While figuring the numbers, assume the following:
Castillo has one prior misdemeanor conviction on a disorderly conduct charge ten years earlier.
The net weight of the cocaine seized during Castillo’s arrest turned out to be 46.5 kilograms.
Castillo’s role in the conspiracy is not a managerial one. In fact, he is what is known as a “mule,” his involvement is limited to delivering narcotics and picking up the proceeds of narcotics sales.
He is cooperating with the government and will plead guilty to the charge of possession of cocaine, in violation of Title 21 USC 841 (a) (1).
What are the numbers that you came up with? Break them down into base offense level and include each enhancement or mitigating factor. Support your conclusions with a brief statement on each factor.