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United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Luis VILLANUEVA-RIOS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 20-14087

Decided: April 22, 2021

Before MARTIN, ROSENBAUM, and BRANCH, Circuit Judges. Tyler Mann, Jane Elizabeth McBath, U.S. Attorney Service - Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Attorney's Office, Atlanta, GA, for Plaintiff-Appellee David D. Marshall, David D. Marshall Attorney at Law, Marietta, GA, for Defendant-Appellant

Luis Villaneuva-Rios appeals his sentence of 121 months’ imprisonment for two counts related to conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin. Villanueva-Rios argues the district court abused its discretion by not sentencing him to his requested term of 120 months’ imprisonment. The government moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing his plea agreement contained an applicable appeal waiver. Villanueva-Rios did not file a response.

We review de novo the validity of a sentence appeal waiver. United States v. Johnson, 541 F.3d 1064, 1066 (11th Cir. 2008). The record confirms that Villaneuva-Rios's appeal waiver was knowingly and voluntarily entered, that it applies to this appeal, and that this appeal does not fall under any of the exceptions to the waiver.

Therefore, the government's motion to dismiss the appeal pursuant to the appeal waiver in Villaneuva-Rios's plea agreement is GRANTED. See United States v. Bushert, 997 F.2d 1343, 1350–51 (11th Cir. 1993) (sentence appeal waiver will be enforced if it was made knowingly and voluntarily).



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