Hiring a Qualified Saint Lucie Drug Conspiracy Lawyer
Hector Suarez (not his real name) was arrested for a cocaine conspiracy by DEA on July 30, 2019, in St. Lucie County. Hector’s family retained Saint Lucie criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey H. Garland just after the arrest. Attorney Garland recognized that “cooperation” in the case would be counter-productive. In fact, it was advisable for Hector to remain completely silent.
As a first time offender, Hector was eligible for the “safety valve” – as long as he did not say anything untrue. Ultimately, a plea agreement was entered into with the Government. The facts set forth in the plea agreement were specific and detailed, but were based exclusively on the Government’s investigation. The defense agreed to the Government’s “facts” – except on the scope of relevant conduct. By agreement the “relevant conduct” was 14 kilos of cocaine. The Government was initially maintaining that the scope of relevant conduct was 25 kilos or more.
By the time the case came to sentencing, Hector had satisfied the requirements of a truthful admission by signing off on the statement of facts portion of the plea forms. This avoided questioning by a prosecutor, DEA agent or probation officer, and avoided any claim that Hector’s “truthful admission” was not accurate and complete.
Hector was sentenced at the Ft. Pierce Federal Courthouse on January 3, 2020 to 4 years and 9 months of federal prison based upon his plea agreement and upon his qualifications for the safety valve. He will be eligible for a sentence reduction upon completion of the RDAP program, and will be eligible for gain time under the First Step Act. Hector requested a judicial recommendation to BOP for placement at Montgomery FPC. Hector wanted to be assigned to this facility so that he could complete the RDAP program there, work on the adjacent Air Force Base, and receive technical training. The First Step Act allows for additional gain time when an inmate is working.
Comment from a Saint Lucie Drug Conspiracy Lawyer
Hector had no scoreable prior record and no firearm was used. Therefore, he qualified for the safety value as long as he acknowledged the relevant conduct to secure the safety valve. A false, misleading or incomplete statement will likely result in a denial of safety valve eligibility. A person accused in federal must candidly accept responsibility for their own relevant conduct. Great care should be taken to avoid making any sort of false, misleading or incomplete statement. That was accomplished in this case by a detailed written statement of fact. This avoided any questioning by agents, prosecutors or probation officers.
If you or a loved one are in need a simialr situtation and are in need of a Saint Lucie Drug Conspiracy Lawyer, contact The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.today at (772) 489-2200.