United States v. Robert Baez

Case: 16-17389 Date Filed: 12/28/2017 Page: 1 of 15 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-17389 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 8:15-cr-00016-VMC-JSS-1 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus ROBERT BAEZ, a.k.a. Roberto Baez, Defendant-Appellant. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ________________________ (December 28, 2017) Before HULL, WILSON and JORDAN, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Case: 16-17389 Date Filed: 12/28/2017 Page: 2 of 15 After pleading guilty, Robert Baez appeals his convictions and total 84 month sentence for two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). On appeal, Baez argues: (1) § 922(g) is unconstitutional, facially and as applied to him, and that his plea colloquy was constitutionally deficient, both of which render his convictions invalid; (2) the district court erred in applying an increased base offense level because his two prior convictions for resisting an officer with violence do not constitute crimes of violence under the Sentencing Guidelines; and (3) the district court imposed a sentence that was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable. After review, we affirm. I. BAEZ’S § 922(g) CONVICTIONS A. Offense Conduct On July 29, 2014, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives learned from a confidential source that Baez, a convicted felon, had previously made arrangements to sell firearms from the trunk of his car. The agent arranged a meeting with Baez to purchase two firearms furnished by Baez’s associate, Michael Sparacino. A few days later, on August 1, the confidential source and an undercover officer met with Baez and Sparacino at a parking lot in St. Petersburg, Florida and purchased two firearms from Sparacino. Baez then placed the firearms in the 2 Case: 16-17389 Date Filed: 12/28/2017 Page: 3 of 15 undercover officer’s car, and the undercover officer and Sparacino discussed the purchase of additional firearms to take place the following week. On August 6, 2014, Baez called the undercover officer several times, stating that he and Sparacino had more firearms for sale. Baez also texted the undercover officer a photograph of himself holding a pistol grip shotgun. The undercover officer agreed to meet with Baez and Sparacino at a pawn shop in Seminole, Florida that was owned by Sparacino. Later that day, the undercover officer met with Baez and Sparacino at the pawn shop. As Baez and Sparacino took three firearms out of a box behind the counter, Baez handled and possessed the firearms. The undercover officer purchased all three firearms. It is undisputed that Baez did not receive any payment from the firearm sales, and Baez maintained that he was merely helping his friend, Sparacino. It is also undisputed that four of the five firearms sold to the undercover officer were manufactured outside of Florida. Baez was charged in an indictment with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ ...

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