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In Wake of Rehaif Ruling Sosa Pleads Guilty Again To Holding Stolen Gun But Gets 40 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 25 –Pedro Sosa pled guilty earlier this year to having a gun after having been convicted of a crime punishable by a year or more in prison, commonly known as "Felon in Possession." But that was before the Supreme Court's decision in Rehaif v. US, holding that a defendant is required to have known of his previous conviction and status.  

Before sentencing on October 25 by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Victor Marrero, Sosa was asked to allocute again on this, that he knew he was a felon. He did so, then did it again under oath.   

  But at most this voluntary re-pleading got him a five month downward departure from the 46 to 57 month guideline sentence that he faced. One month was subtracted by Judge Marrero for a month Sosa spent in state custody before it was decided to proceed against him in Federal rather than state court.

   Sosa's lawyer David Rody also argued for further reduction because of that he called the dubious nature of the gun Sosa was arrested with having been previously stolen.   Sosa got a two point enhancement in offense level for that, even though he claimed not to have known the guns was stolen.

 Some wonder in the wake of Rehaif why for example a gun being stolen is essential strict liability, while the Supreme Court now requires proof or admission of knowledge by a defendant of his or her previous conviction. But this is the law of the land: see, Rehaif v. US, No. 17-9560, __ S. Ct. __, 2018 WL 2552487 (June 21, 2019).

    Rody also argued for a downward departure because one of Sosa's previous convictions was only a few months after his 18th birthday.

  Marrero did not credit this, but did say that many of Sosa's previous convictions were between when he was 17 to 20 years old. He wished Sosa well. The case is US v. Sosa, 18-cr-229 (Marrero). 


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