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United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America Plaintiff - Appellee v. David Gabriel MORAGO Defendant - Appellant

No. 18-3635

Decided: September 17, 2019

Before COLLOTON, ERICKSON, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges. Adam Kerndt, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Des Moines, IA, Melisa K. Zaehringer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Davenport, IA, for Plaintiff-Appellee David Gabriel Morago, Pro Se


Federal inmate David Morago pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement, in which he waived many rights, including the right to file a motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). He now appeals after the district court 1 denied his renewed motion for a sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(2). His counsel has moved to withdraw, and has submitted a brief acknowledging the plea agreement contained a waiver of the right to seek § 3582(c)(2) relief, but challenging the voluntariness of that waiver; and arguing Morago is eligible for a sentence reduction.

Upon careful review, we conclude the record shows Morago knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea agreement, including the § 3582(c)(2) waiver. Cf. United States v. Scott, 627 F.3d 702, 704 (8th Cir. 2010) (applying de novo review to validity and applicability of appeal waiver); United States v. Andis, 333 F.3d 886, 889-92 (8th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (appeal waiver will be enforced if appeal falls within scope of waiver, defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered into waiver and plea agreement, and enforcing waiver would not result in miscarriage of justice). As the § 3582(c)(2) waiver is valid, we conclude the district court did not err in denying Morago’s renewed motion. See Freeman v. United States, 564 U.S. 522, 541, 131 S.Ct. 2685, 180 L.Ed.2d 519 (2011) (Sotomayor, J., concurring in the judgment) (noting if the government wants to ensure a defendant’s term of imprisonment will not be reduced, it can negotiate with such defendant to waive the right to seek a sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(2)).

Accordingly, we grant counsel leave to withdraw, and we affirm.


1.   The Honorable James E. Gritzner, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa.


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Docket No: No. 18-3635

Decided: September 17, 2019

Court: United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

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