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US v. Nunez, 10-1384

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By FindLaw Staff on November 30, 2010 2:56 PM

Eligibility for a "safety valve" adjustment to defendant's sentence in a conviction for cocaine related offense

US v. Nunez, 10-1384, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence of 60-months' imprisonment after determining that defendant was not eligible for a "safety valve" adjustment to his sentence, in a prosecution of defendant for knowingly and intentionally possessing over 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

In affirming, the court denied defendant's motion to strike as the portions of the government's brief that defendant seeks to strike are all included in the record on appeal pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 10(a).  The court also held that the district court did not clearly err when it concluded that defendant was ineligible for a safety valve adjustment based, at least in part, on the limits he placed on his second debriefing.  Further, the district court did not err by relying on the confidential informant's statement, and even if the district court erred, the error was harmless as the limitations defendant placed on his second debriefing suffice to affirm the district court's conclusion that defendant was ineligible for a safety valve adjustment.  Lastly, the court rejected defendant's remaining arguments as the district court correctly concluded that defendant failed to meet the fifth requirement in section 3553(f).

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