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United States v. Jaime

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 30, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANNA JAIME, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge.

         On June 1, 2016, the Court sentenced Anna Jaime to one year of special probation pursuant to the Federal First Offender Act (“FFOA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3607(a). At that time, the Court indicated that in view of the limited caselaw involving FFOA, it would likely issue a written opinion supporting the sentence. Accordingly, this Memorandum Opinion accompanies the Court's June 1, 2016 oral sentence.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Ms. Jaime's Involvement in the Narcotics and Money Laundering Conspiracy

         On May 29, 2015, Ms. Jaime pled guilty to a One-Count Superseding Information charging her with Conspiracy to Possess Heroin, a misdemeanor offense, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844 and 21 U.S.C. § 846.[1] The government's proffer of evidence accompanying the plea agreement states that a bank account belonging to Ms. Jaime was used to launder funds for co-defendants Juan Floyd and Armando Gamez in furtherance of a narcotics and money laundering conspiracy. See Proffer of Evidence, ECF No. 714 at 2. Specifically, co-defendant Juan Floyd would deposit illegal narcotics proceeds into Ms. Jaime's account from bank branches in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Id. at 3. Ms. Jaime would then withdraw the funds in cash from her local branch in Texas and deliver the cash to an unindicted co-conspirator.[2] Id. According to the government, between April and June 2013, Ms. Jaime laundered approximately $44, 000.00 of illegal narcotics proceeds through multiple transactions. Id. at 2.

         B. Ms. Jaime's Sentencing Hearings

         At the initial sentencing hearing on September 15, 2015, counsel for Ms. Jaime orally moved for disposition pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3607(a), which provides that under certain circumstances, a defendant may be sentenced to serve a term of probation up to one year without a judgment of conviction being entered. See Minute Entry of Sept. 22, 2015. The government opposed the oral motion. Because counsel raised the possibility of disposition pursuant to this provision for the first time at that hearing, the Court directed the parties to brief the issue and continued the sentencing hearing to a later date. See Minute Order of Sept. 15, 2015. The Court also invited the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia to participate as amicus curiae. See Minute Order of Sept. 22, 2015. Upon review of the submissions of the parties and amicus curiae, and after considering the arguments at the June 1, 2016 hearing, the Court sentenced Ms. Jaime to one year of special probation pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3607(a).

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Statutory Framework

         18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) requires sentencing courts to consider numerous factors when sentencing a defendant. Courts must consider “the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant” as well as: the need for the sentence imposed-

(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective ...

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