Appeals from the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas.
HAYNES, GRAVES, and HO, Circuit Judges.
Adam Alfredo Flores appeals the district court's
determination that he was subject to an enhanced mandatory
minimum sentence of fifteen years under the Armed Career
Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). Flores also
appeals his base offense level calculation under U.S.S.G.
§ 2K2.1. We VACATE the sentence and REMAND for a
February 2018, Flores pleaded guilty to one count of being a
felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1). The following criminal history is relevant
to calculating his sentencing guideline range. In 1996, at
age 15, Flores was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for
aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to
incarceration with the Texas Youth Commission. On February
12, 2003, Flores pleaded guilty in Texas state court to
aggravated robbery and aggravated assault causing bodily
injury stemming from an incident on May 6, 2002 (Cause No.
02-CR-2120-D). That same day, Flores also pleaded guilty to
aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an
incident that occurred on July 14, 2002 (Cause No.
Flores violated 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and had at least
two prior felony convictions for a crime of violence,
Flores's base offense level was 24. See U.S.S.G
§ 2K2.1. The presentence report (PSR) determined,
however, that Flores's two adult convictions and juvenile
conviction subjected him to a statutory ACCA enhancement as
an armed career criminal because Flores had three prior
convictions for "violent felonies," raising his
base offense level to 33. See U.S.S.G § 4B1.4.
Considering his three-level reduction for acceptance of
responsibility and criminal history category V, the total
offense level of 30 resulted in a guideline range of 151 to
188 months. Because the mandatory minimum sentence for an
armed career criminal under ACCA is fifteen years in prison,
his guideline range increased to 180-188 months. Flores
raised two objections to the PSR. First, he argued he was not
subject to the ACCA mandatory minimum and an enhanced
guideline level. Second, he argued his unenhanced base
offense level under U.S.S.G § 2K2.1 was incorrectly
calculated. The district court overruled Flores's
objections, agreed with the PSR, and sentenced Flores to 180
months in prison. Flores filed a timely appeal and makes the
same arguments he made in the district court.
first argues his juvenile adjudication for Texas aggravated
assault is not a "violent felony" for the purposes
of an ACCA sentence enhancement.We review the district
court's determination that a prior conviction qualifies
as a "violent felony" under ACCA de novo.
United States v. Massey, 858 F.3d 380, 382 (5th Cir.
defendant convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)
is subject to a maximum of ten years in prison.
See 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2). Under ACCA, however,
the penalty is increased to a minimum of fifteen
years if the defendant has "three previous convictions .
. . for a violent felony." 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). A
"violent felony" is defined as
any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one
year, or any act of juvenile delinquency involving
the use or carrying of a firearm, knife, or destructive
device that would be punishable by imprisonment for such term
if committed by an adult, that-(i) has as an element the use,
attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against
the person of another; or (ii) is burglary, arson, or
extortion, involves the use of explosives, or otherwise
involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of
physical injury to another.
18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B) (emphasis added). Thus, a
juvenile adjudication may qualify as an ACCA predicate
offense only if it meets the requirements of subsection (i)
or (ii) and involves the use or carrying of a knife,
firearm, or destructive device.
determine whether a prior conviction qualifies as a violent
felony under ACCA, we traditionally apply the
"categorical approach." Descamps v. United
States, 570 U.S. 254, 257 (2013). This approach
"examine[s] the elements of the offense, rather than the
facts underlying the conviction or the defendant's actual
conduct, to determine whether the enhancement applies."
United States v. Rodriguez-Negrete, 772 F.3d 221,
225 (5th Cir. 2014) (quoting United States v.
Teran-Salas, 767 F.3d 453, 458 (5th Cir. 2014)). If
"the elements of the statute forming the basis of the
defendant's conviction . . . are the same as, or narrower
than, those of the generic offense[, ]" then there is a
categorical match and the enhancement is proper.
Descamps, 570 U.S. at 257. ...