UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. Pedro GUILLEN-CORDOVA, a/k/a Amigo, Defendant - Appellant.
Decided: July 31, 2019
Before THACKER and HARRIS, Circuit Judges, and SHEDD, Senior Circuit Judge.
Jorgelina E. Araneda, Araneda Law Firm, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellant. Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General, Matthew S. Miner, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Sonja M. Ralston, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney, Jennifer May-Parker, Assistant United States Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Pedro Guillen-Cordova appeals the 180-month sentence imposed by the district court following his guilty plea to possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), 841(b)(1)(A)(ii) (2012); and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i) (2012). On appeal, Guillen-Cordova challenges the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentences. But this challenge is squarely foreclosed by decisions of the Supreme Court and this court. Chapman v. United States, 500 U.S. 453, 467, 111 S.Ct. 1919, 114 L.Ed.2d 524 (1991) (Congress has constitutional authority “to define criminal punishments without giving the courts any sentencing discretion”); United States v. Bolding, 876 F.2d 21, 22 (4th Cir. 1989) (“It is undisputed that Congress may enact mandatory and determinate sentencing laws․”); see Stokeling v. United States, ––– U.S. ––––, 139 S. Ct. 544, 555, 202 L.Ed.2d 512 (2019). Accordingly, we conclude that the district court did not err in sentencing Guillen-Cordova to the applicable mandatory minimum sentences, and we affirm the district court’s criminal judgment. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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