USA v. Quinonez-Soto et al

Middle District of Florida, flmd-8:2017-cr-00355-339530

SENTENCING MEMORANDUM by USA as to Brian Quinonez-Soto

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PageID 441 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CASE NO. 8:17-cr-355-T-35TGW BRIAN QUINONEZ-SOTO UNITED STATES' SENTENCING MEMORANDUM The United States will seek a sentence at the low end of Brian Quinonez-Soto's guidelines range. Quinonez-Soto led a methamphetamine- distribution organization. Doc. 46 at 19. He is responsible for the distribution of more than 4.5 kgs of ICE-quality methamphetamine to a number of distributors in the Middle District of Florida, many of whom have identified Quinonez-Soto as their source of supply. Id. The instant conspiracy lasted from at least October 2016 to July 2017. Id. During the period of this conspiracy, Quinonez-Soto was arrested in California, where he is from, for trafficking in methamphetamine. PSR ¶ 50. While the conspiracy was ongoing, Quinonez-Soto pled guilty to and was sentenced for the California offense. Id. After serving a short prison sentence, he began a three-year term of probation. Id. While on probation, Quinonez-Soto continued trafficking methamphetamine in the instant conspiracy. Id.; See Doc. 46 at 21–22. PageID 442 A number of Quinonez-Soto's lower level distributors have been charged and sentenced in this District. Relevant information about what each received is in the below table. Note that all faced charges simply related to methamphetamine trafficking, with the exception of Tea Robert Vandugteren, who was also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. (Vandugteren had a gun on him when he was found with methamphetamine): Name Case No. Offense Level / Guidelines Sentence CHC/ Guidelines (All Adjustment After Departures) Reyandra 8:17-cr-355 29/I/87–108 months Minor Role, 36 months Camorlinga Safety Valve Charles 8:17-cr-133 25/III/70-87 months 6-Level 5K 70 months Johnson Crystal Romine 8:17-cr-133 29/I/87–108 months Safety Valve 48 months Henry Smith 8:17-cr-225 27/V/120–150 months 4-Level 5K 100 months Tea 8:17-cr-318 27/VI/130-162 plus 5K 121 months Vandugeteren five years 1 Toni Platt 8:17-cr-118 27/III/87–108 months Crim History 70 months Inadequacy William Piper 2:17-cr-60 33/I/97-121 months 3-Level 5K 97 months 1 Because the United States filed a motion for substantial assistance as to the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and because that crime does not have an offense level associated with it, the Court could not quantify the departure in terms of offense levels. Thus, the listed offense level and guidelines range for Vandugteren do not reflect the Court's departure for substantial assistance. 2 PageID 443 A LOW END SENTENCE IS APPROPRIATE Quinonez-Soto's offense was very serious: he led an organization that distributed an amount of methamphetamine that is at the very top of the drug- quantity chart in the guidelines. In addition to the inherent destructiveness that methamphetamine poses, Quinonez-Soto's leadership in this organization is particularly destructive, as it sucked in and forever changed the lives of two of his co-conspirators, Reyandra Camorlinga and Crystal Romine. Both of these women were safety valve eligible, with no prior convictions. Additionally, Romine was fairly young at the time of her offense (25), and Camorlinga is the mother of Quinonez-Soto's three-year-old child. Moreover, all of the methamphetamine seized in this case is of a very high purity. The guidelines commentary explains that controlled substances of "unusually high purity" may warrant an upward departure. USSG § 2D1.1 (commentary note 27(C)). Though the departure should not be applied in instances, such as here, when the drug quantity table specifically accounts for purity, the rationale for the departure is worth considering for purposes of evaluating the seriousness of Quinonez-Soto's conduct for section- 3553(a) purposes. The commentary in application note 27(C) states: Since controlled substances are often diluted and combined with other substances as they pass down the chain of distribution, the fact that a defendant is in possession of unusually pure narcotics 3 PageID 444 may indicate a prominent role in the criminal enterprise and proximity to the source of the drugs. Thus, Quinonez-Soto's leadership in this meth-trafficking organization, combined with his close proximity to the source is troubling and bears on the seriousness of his offense. Additionally, a Court recently showed Quinonez-Soto considerable leniency when it sentenced him to 180 days' imprisonment and 3 years' probation for trafficking in methamphetamine. Almost immediately after his sentencing in that case, and while on probation, Quinonez-Soto continued his meth-trafficking conspiracy that now brings him before this Court. Such a flagrant and cavalier recidivism requires a very serious sentence to deter future criminality. 4 PageID 445 For these reasons and others, the United States seeks a sentence at the low end of the defendant's guidelines range. Respectfully submitted, MARIA CHAPA LOPEZ United States Attorney By: /s/ Gregory T. Nolan GREGORY T. NOLAN Assistant United States Attorney United States Attorney No.: 163 400 N. Tampa Street, Suite 3200 Tampa, Florida 33602-4798 Telephone: (813) 274-6000 Facsimile: (813) 274-6358 E-mail: 5 PageID 446 U.S. v. Quinonez-Soto Case No. 8:17-cr-355-T-35TGW CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on November 23, 2018, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to the following: David Little, Esq. /s/ Gregory T. Nolan GREGORY T. NOLAN Assistant United States Attorney United States Attorney No.: 163 400 N. Tampa Street, Suite 3200 Tampa, Florida 33602-4798 Telephone: (813) 274-6000 Facsimile: (813) 274-6358 E-mail: 6