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U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Eastern District of New York

271 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Case 1:11-cr-00213-JG Document 15 Filed 07/30/13 Page 1 of 4 PageID #: 54

July 30, 2013

The government respectfully submits this letter in anticipation of sentencing in

Re: United States v. Genaro Pineda-Rojas

Criminal Docket No. 11-213 (JG)

By Hand Delivery and ECF

The Honorable John Gleeson
United States District Judge
United States District Court
Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Dear Judge Gleeson:

the above-captioned case, which is scheduled for August 1, 2013. For the reasons set forth
below, the government respectfully requests the Court to sentence the defendant within the
advisory Guidelines range of 37 to 46 months.


Anti-Narcotics investigated an attempted smuggling venture. Specifically, they detected heroin
in the defendant's boots as he attempted to board an airplane from the International Airport in El
Salvador destined for John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York.
(Presentence Report (“PSR”) ¶ 3). The net weight of the heroin in the defendant's boots was
661.4 grams. (PSR ¶ 5).

The defendant is charged in a three-count indictment in relation to a conspiracy to
import and distribute heroin. Count One charges the defendant, in particular, with conspiracy to
import and distribute heroin, intending and knowing that the heroin would be unlawfully
imported into the United States, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 959(c),
952(a), 963, and 960(b)(3). See (PSR ¶ 1).

On May 21, 2013, the defendant pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to the
lesser-included offense within Count One charging conspiracy to import and distribute heroin.
(PSR ¶ 1).

In June 2010, officials of the El Salvador National Civilian Police, Division of


Case 1:11-cr-00213-JG Document 15 Filed 07/30/13 Page 2 of 4 PageID #: 55



Legal Standard


The Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, not mandatory. United States v.
Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 258-60 (2005). However, the Supreme Court held in Booker that
sentencing courts must consider the Guidelines in formulating an appropriate sentence. Id. In
Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38 (2007), the Supreme Court set forth the procedure for
sentencing courts to follow in light of Booker:

[A] district court should begin all sentencing proceedings by
correctly calculating the applicable Guidelines range. As a matter
of administration and to secure nationwide consistency, the
Guidelines should be the starting point and the initial benchmark.


The Guidelines Range Is 37 to 46 Months

The Probation Department has determined that the adjusted offense level is 21,

Gall, 552 U.S. at 49 (citation omitted). Next, a district court should “consider all of the §
3553(a) factors to determine whether they support the sentence requested by a party. In so
doing, [a district court] may not presume that the Guidelines range is reasonable. [A district
court] must make an individualized assessment based on the facts presented.” Id. at 49-50
(citation and footnote omitted).

the defendant is in Criminal History Category I, and the advisory Guidelines sentencing range is
37 to 46 months. (PSR ¶ 47.) The government agrees with this calculation. The government
agrees that the defendant is safety-valve eligible pursuant to Title 18, United States Code,
Section 3553(f).

Guidelines range is appropriate in this case.

seriousness of the offense, promote respect for the law and providing just punishment. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a)(2)(A). As noted above, the defendant’s offense of conviction -- conspiring to import
and distribute heroin -- is a serious crime that merits a serious punishment. A term of
imprisonment is therefore necessary in order to serve these important purposes of sentencing.

deterrence to criminal conduct and to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant. 18

A Sentence Within the Guidelines Range Is
Appropriate In This Case

A sentence within the advisory Guidelines range is necessary to afford adequate

Based on the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), a sentence within the

A sentence within the advisory Guidelines range is necessary to reflect the



Case 1:11-cr-00213-JG Document 15 Filed 07/30/13 Page 3 of 4 PageID #: 56

U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B) & (c). “Under section 3553(a)(2)(B), there are two major considerations:
specific and general deterrence.” United States v. Davis, No. 08-CR-332 (JBW), 2010 WL
1221709, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. March 29, 2010). Both considerations support the imposition of a
serious term of imprisonment in this case. A sentence within the advisory Guidelines range is
necessary to deter others who are in a position to choose between a law-abiding life and a life of

Under 3553(a)(1), the Court should also consider the defendant’s history and
characteristics. The fact that the defendant committed the instant offense while serving as a
commissioned officer in the Guatemalan army exacerbates the seriousness of his offense.
Infiltration of the armed forces by members of criminal organizations is a particularly pernicious
byproduct of the international drug trade. The violent exploits of Los Zetas, a cartel founded by
defecting members of the Mexican Army’s elite Airborne Special Forces Group (Grupo
Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales - GAFES), powerfully illustrates the extreme danger posed by
highly-trained military professionals who are willing to betray their sworn oath to protect and
serve the public and instead seek to profit by serving the interests of drug trafficking

1 See, e.g., George W. Grayson, “Los Zetas: the Ruthless Army Spawned by a Mexican Drug
Cartel,” Foreign Policy Research Institute, May 2008
(; Sam Logan, “Los Zetas: Evolution
of a Criminal Organization,” International Relations and Security Network, March 11, 2009
(; “Drug Wars in
Tamaulipas: Cartels vs. Zetas vs. the Military,” Frontera NorteSur (Center for Latin American
and Border Studies, New Mexico State University), March 1, 2010
(; John P. Sullivan and Sam Logan, “Los Zetas:
Massacres, Assassins and Infantry Tactics,” Security Solutions International, November 24, 2010

Case 1:11-cr-00213-JG Document 15 Filed 07/30/13 Page 4 of 4 PageID #: 57



In this case, given all of the facts and circumstances discussed above, a sentence
within the Guidelines range is necessary in order to achieve the purposes set forth in 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a). Therefore, and for all of the foregoing reasons, the government respectfully submits
that the Court should impose a sentence within the advisory Guidelines range of 37 to 46


Gina M. Parlovecchio
Steven L. Tiscione
Assistant U.S. Attorneys

United States Attorney

Respectfully submitted,


Clerk of the Court (JG) (by ECF)
Sean Hecker, Esq. (by ECF)
Amanda Donat, U.S. Probation Officer (by email)

2 The government does not oppose giving the defendant credit for the 11 months in custody he
served in El Salvador.