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United States v. Llantada

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

March 8, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
MARIO HUMBERTO LLANTADA, Defendant - Appellant

Page 680


Margaret Katze (Dennis J. Candelaria, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the briefs) Office of the Federal Public Defender, Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Appellant.

David N. Williams, Assistant United States Attorney (Damon P. Martinez, United States Attorney, with him on the brief) Office of the United States Attorney, Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Appellee.

Before TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, LUCERO, and HOLMES, Circuit Judges.


Page 681

TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge.

Most federal criminal sentences require prisoners to comply with various limitations on their conduct and behavior as a condition of release from prison. Typical conditions, for example, prohibit parolees from abusing alcohol or drugs, or associating with felons. We recently held that the district court does not err when it imposes conditions of release of this sort. United States v. Muñoz, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 502863, at *3 (10th Cir. 2016). Our decision in Muñoz resolves most of the challenges to the special conditions imposed in this case. But Llantada also challenges on vagueness grounds several of the special conditions imposed on him and not considered in Muñoz.

We AFFIRM the district court's sentence. The conditions of supervised release imposed here are sufficiently clear to inform a parolee of what conduct will result in a return to prison.

I. Analysis

Llantada pleaded guilty to charges arising from a drug conspiracy in 2014. The district court sentenced him to 168 months' imprisonment, followed by terms of supervised release ranging from one to five years, and imposed a number of special conditions that will apply when he is released from prison. He challenges those conditions on vagueness grounds. He also challenges the district court's refusal to award him a sentence reduction because of his relatively minor role in the conspiracy.

A. Conditions of Supervised Release

Llantada first challenges the twelve conditions of supervised release imposed by the district court. These conditions were nearly all standard conditions of supervised release typically imposed at sentencing. 18 U.S.C. § 3563. The language of the conditions was drawn, often nearly verbatim, from the federal sentencing statute. See id. Some of Llantada's arguments are identical to those presented in Muñoz and are controlled by that decision. To the extent his arguments differ from those presented in Muñoz, we address them below.

1. Arguments Addressed in Muñoz

Several of Llantada's arguments were addressed in Muñoz. First, Muñoz found that the district court does not abuse its discretion when it imposes standard conditions of release without making particularized

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findings. " [W]e held in United States v. Martinez-Torres that supportive findings are unnecessary when the conditions are standard . . . . There we explained that the standard conditions include those recommended under the guidelines." Munoz, F.3d at, 2016 WL 502863, at *10 (citing United States v. Martinez-Torres, 795 F.3d 1233, 1237 (10th Cir. 2015)).

Muñoz also addressed several of the specific conditions that Llantada claims are vague or substantively unreasonable. These include the following:

(1) " The defendant shall answer truthfully all inquiries by the probation officer and follow the instruction of the probation officer" ;

(2) " The defendant shall support his or her dependents and meet other family responsibilities" ;

(3) " The defendant shall work regularly at a lawful occupation, unless excused by the probation officer for schooling, training, or other acceptable reasons" ;

(4) " The defendant shall notify the probation officer at least ten days prior to any change in residence or employment" ;

(5) conditions related to alcohol use; and

(6) conditions related to searches conducted by the probation officer.

According to Muñoz, we apply a common sense, non-technical reading to these conditions of release. See id. at *3 (" In our view, the district court did not err, for we use common sense to guide our interpretation of supervised release conditions." ). Neither a parolee nor his parole officer would have ...

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