U.S. v. Hernandez

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Guilty Plea
Case Number: 
No. 12-1719
Decision Date: 
September 10, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., W. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in entering defendant’s guilty plea to three drug conspiracy charges after defendant submitted “Petition to Enter Guilty Plea” that acknowledged he was subject to mandatory minimum sentence of five years. While defendant argued that his guilty plea was not voluntary, where he lacked both education and language fluency to understand nature of conspiracy charge, record reflected that Dist. Ct. conducted thorough plea colloquy and allowed defendant to discuss said charges with counsel prior to accepting plea. Moreover, Dist. Ct. provided interpreter for defendant, and defendant ultimately agreed with fact summary of charges provided by govt. Dist. Ct. could also impose 210-month sentence based, in part, on finding that defendant’s conduct involved more than 150 kilograms of cocaine, even though charged offense only concerned 500 grams of cocaine, since Dist. Ct.’s relevant conduct finding did not have effect of increasing any minimum mandatory sentence.