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United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. HIGINIO CASTILLO, a/k/a Gordo, a/k/a Gordito, a/k/a Little Man, a/k/a Piting, a/k/a Donald Higinio Castillo, Appellant

No. 16-3948

Decided: February 10, 2017

Before: AMBRO, GREENAWAY, JR. and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges


Higinio Castillo pleaded guilty in federal court to kidnapping, brandishing a firearm while kidnapping, and a variety of drug trafficking charges. In June 2015, he received two consecutively running sentences of 120 months. Castillo's aggregate sentence was much lower than the advisory Guidelines range of 382 to 447 months.

Over a year later, Castillo filed a self-styled “motion requesting to be re-sentenced concurrently” to “afford [him] the ‘grace’ of being released from prison in his thirties, instead of his [forties].” Castillo cited no legal authority to support his motion other than Guidelines Amendment 794, which amended the commentary to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2 (lower offense level for “mitigating role” in criminal activity) several months before Castillo was sentenced. The District Court denied Castillo's motion and he appealed.

Our clerk advised that we would consider whether a certificate of appealability (“COA”) is required for this appeal. We conclude that a COA is unnecessary because, among other reasons, Castillo's motion may be construed as seeking relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). See United States v. Taylor, 627 F.3d 674, 676 (7th Cir. 2010). We thus exercise jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

We will summarily affirm the District Court's September 21, 2016 order because this appeal presents no substantial question. See Third Circuit L.A.R. 27.4 and I.O.P. 10.6. Castillo provides no basis for disturbing the District Court's decision, and we discern none from the record below.