A man sentenced to ten years in federal prison for selling more than four pounds of heroin packaged in cereal boxes to a government informant will have to serve his full sentence after a federal appeals court rejected his argument that he should have gotten a lesser sentence even though he pleaded guilty.
An attorney for Dalnovis Delarosa Arias, who admitted selling heroin to an informant in Charlestown and Lawrence, argued that while the charge of selling heroin was valid, the separate charge of conspiracy should be thrown out, because at his sentencing, Delarosa Arias told the judge that while he did, indeed conspire to sell heroin, he did so with somebody who had fled to the Dominican Republic, not his co-defendant.
The judge in the case, the attorney argued, should not have let Delarosa Arias plead guilty to something that was not specifically cited in his indictment.
Only problem, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston concluded, is that that is not what he did:
At his plea hearing, Delarosa Arias admitted to participating in a conspiracy that involved at least one other person. That admission alone provided a "reasoned basis" to believe that Delarosa Arias was guilty of conspiracy. ... Delarosa Arias claims that because he did not admit that Ruiz was involved in the conspiracy, his plea lacked a factual basis. But whether Ruiz was involved is irrelevant: he pled guilty to conspiracy, not "conspiracy with Ruiz."