FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICOH on. José Antonio Fusté, U.S.
A. Rieckehoff on brief for appellant.
Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Rosa
Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney,
and Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States
Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, on brief for appellee.
Torruella, Selya, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
appeal, Christian Vázquez-Vázquez
(Vázquez) challenges his sentence of thirty-six
months' imprisonment following the revocation of his term
of supervised release. We affirm.
November 18, 2011, Vázquez pled guilty to the offense
of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled
substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1),
846, and 860, in the United States District Court for the
District of Puerto Rico. On May 24, 2012, he was sentenced to
twenty-four months' imprisonment and eight years'
supervised release, which began on February 18, 2014. On June
24, 2015, however, Vázquez's probation officer
filed a motion notifying the District Court of alleged
violations of the conditions of Vázquez's
supervised release. After a hearing, the District Court
determined that Vázquez had violated the conditions,
revoked supervised release, and sentenced Vázquez to
thirty-six months' imprisonment.
18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3), a court may revoke a term of
supervised release and require the defendant to serve a term
of imprisonment upon finding, by a preponderance of the
evidence, that the defendant violated a condition of
supervised release. Under that subsection, the term of
imprisonment may not be longer than the term of the
supervised release that had been imposed. Id. In
addition, that subsection provides that the term of
imprisonment may not be longer than three years if the
conviction for which the supervised release was imposed was a
Class B felony -- which Vázquez's conviction was.
3583(e) directs the sentencing court to consider a subset of
the factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) before setting
a term of imprisonment after revocation of supervised
release. These factors include "the nature and
circumstances of the offense and the history and
characteristics of the defendant, " § 3553(a)(1);
the need for "adequate deterrence, " §
3553(a)(2)(B); and the need to "protect the public,
" § 3553(a)(2)(C).
United States Sentencing Guidelines prescribe an advisory
range for the term of imprisonment to be imposed upon
revocation of supervised release. The guidelines base that
range on the defendant's criminal history category and
the nature of the violations of the conditions of supervised
release. U.S.S.G. § 7B1.4. Under the guidelines,
violations of conditions of supervised release are assigned a
grade of "A, " "B, " or "C."
Id. § 7B1.1(a). The guidelines provide that
where "there is more than one violation of the
conditions of supervision . . . the grade of the violation is
determined by the violation having the most serious
grade." Id. § 7B1.1(b).
violation with the most serious grade is the violation for
possession of a firearm as a felon, which is a violation of
18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and is punishable by a term exceeding
one year. Id. § 924(a)(2) (providing for
sentence of "not more than 10 years"). Under the
guidelines, that violation of a condition of supervised
release is a Grade B violation, because it is a "federal
. . . offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding
one year." U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(2).
guidelines establish a sentencing range of six to twelve
months' imprisonment upon revocation of supervised
release if the defendant has a criminal history category of
II, as Vázquez did, and has committed a Grade B
violation, which Vázquez had. U.S.S.G. §
7B1.4(a). Both Vázquez and the government advocated
for a sentence within that guidelines range. The District
Court, however, imposed a sentence of thirty-six months. That
sentence was three times greater than the upper end of the