Re: Man Arrested with an armed missile in Hermosillo, Sonora
I have heard of several individuals being caught with missles or rockert launchers and RPG'G, but it there any known instance where these have actually been used in mexico. Yes I know about the grenades and small explosives that have gone off, but has an RPG or missle actually been fired in Mexico by any cartel?
§2K2.1. Unlawful Receipt, Possession, or Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition; Prohibited Transactions Involving Firearms or Ammunition
(3)If the offense involved—
(A)a destructive device that is a portable rocket, a missile, or a device for use in launching a portable rocket or a missile, increase by 15 levels; or
(B)a destructive device other than a destructive device referred to in subdivision (A), increase by 2 levels.
The sentencing guidelines for this offense inexplicably start with a base level of 18 points which translates to 27 to 33 months. The mid-point of 30 months is exactly 25% of the maximum sentence of ten years. If one pleads guilty and accepts responsibility the level goes to 15 points and a sentence of 18 to 24 months which, even at the minimum of 18 months, is still 15% of the statutory maximum.
The Commission, also in a unanimous vote, more than tripled the prison time for individuals possessing certain destructive devices, such as shoulder-fired missiles, rockets, and launchers.
"There is no good reason for anyone to ever possess such a device," said Commissioner Castillo. "A person with a rocket launcher most certainly does not have good intentions."
The guideline sentence for possession of these destructive devices, including MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems capable of destroying aircraft), LAWS (light anti-tank weapons) and RPGS (rocket-propelled grenades) has been increased to ten years’ imprisonment, which is the maximum penalty prescribed by law. The possession of these devices has been singled out for the maximum penalty in all cases because of their portability, range, and accuracy. The U.S.- made "Stinger" missile can target aircraft traveling at altitudes of up to approximately 26,000 feet, and the Russian-made SA-7 can target aircraft traveling at up to approximately 16,000 feet.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, shoulder-fired missiles have destroyed 27 civilian fixed-wing aircraft to date.
"We shudder at the thought of a commercial airliner being targeted by one of these devices," said U.S. Sentencing Commissioner Michael E. Horowitz. "The U.S. Sentencing Commission is doing its part to ensure that anyone who even attempts to obtain these dangerous weapons will serve the maximum penalty authorized by Congress."
At the same time, the Commission provided the means for courts to depart above the guidelines for unlawful possession of other destructive devices (such as pipe bombs, grenades, and Molotov cocktails) under circumstances that create a risk to the public.
§2M5.2. Exportation of Arms, Munitions, or Military Equipment or Services Without Required Validated Export
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) 26, except as provided in subdivision (2) below;
(2) 14, if the offense involved only (A) non-fully automatic small arms
Firearms Leaving the United States
Subsection (b)(6) provides a 4-level enhancement, and a minimum offense level of 18, if the defendant used or possessed any firearm or ammunition in connection with another felony offense, or possessed or transferred any firearm or ammunition with knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense. The amendment establishes a new prong (A) in subsection (b)(6) that applies "if the defendant possessed any firearm or ammunition while leaving or attempting to leave the United States; or possessed or transferred any firearm or ammunition with knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be transferred out of the United States", and redesignates the existing provision as prong (B). Under the amendment, a defendant receives the 4-level enhancement and minimum offense level 18 if either prong applies. The Commission determined that possessing a firearm while leaving or attempting to leave the United States is conduct sufficiently similar in seriousness to possessing a firearm in connection with another felony offense to warrant similar punishment. Likewise, possessing or transferring a firearm with knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be transported out of the United States is conduct sufficiently similar in seriousness to possessing or transferring a firearm with knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense to warrant similar punishment.
Prior to the amendment, some courts have applied subsection (b)(6) to cases in which the defendant has transported or attempted to transport firearms across the border. These courts have concluded that because transporting a firearm outside the United States is generally a felony under federal law, such conduct may qualify as "another felony offense" for purposes of subsection (b)(6). See, e.g., United States v. Juarez, 626 F.3d 246 (5th Cir. 2010) (holding that, under the guideline as amended by the Commission in 2008, the district court did not plainly err in applying §2K2.1(b)(6) to a defendant who transferred firearms with reason to believe they would be taken across the border in a manner that would violate 22 U.S.C. § 2778(b) and (c), which prohibits, among other things, the unlicensed export of defense articles and punishes such violations by up to 20 years' imprisonment). However, for clarity and to promote consistency of application, the Commission created a separate, distinct prong (A) in subsection (b)(6) to cover this conduct.
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