UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Nathan Thomas TRUJILLO, Defendant-Appellant.
Decided: March 10, 2020
Before: MURGUIA, CHRISTEN, and BADE, Circuit Judges.
Colin Michael Rubich, Leif Johnson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the US Attorney, Billings, MT, for Plaintiff - Appellee Evangelo Arvanetes, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Defenders of Montana, Billings Branch Office, Billings, MT, for Defendant - Appellant
Nathan Thomas Trujillo appeals from the district court’s judgment and challenges the 248-month sentence imposed following his guilty-plea conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.
Trujillo contends that the sentence is substantively unreasonable because it fails to account for the mitigating factors of his case and his policy arguments that the methamphetamine Guidelines are empirically unsound. The district court did not abuse its discretion. See Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51, 128 S.Ct. 586, 169 L.Ed.2d 445 (2007). The within-Guidelines sentence is substantively reasonable in light of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) sentencing factors and the totality of the circumstances, including the seriousness of the offense, Trujillo’s criminal history, and the need to protect the public. See Gall, 552 U.S. at 51, 128 S.Ct. 586; see also United States v. Gutierrez-Sanchez, 587 F.3d 904, 908 (9th Cir. 2009) (“The weight to be given the various factors in a particular case is for the discretion of the district court.”). Moreover, contrary to Trujillo’s contentions, the record reflects that the district court considered Trujillo’s arguments and sufficiently explained the sentence, including its determination that a departure from the Guidelines on policy grounds pursuant to Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85, 128 S.Ct. 558, 169 L.Ed.2d 481 (2007), was unwarranted. See United States v. Carty, 520 F.3d 984, 992 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc).
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