from the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado, D.C. No. 1:14-CR-00377-RM-1
R. Smith, Assistant Public Defender (Virginia L. Grady,
Federal Public Defender, and Shira Kieval, Assistant Federal
Public Defender, on the briefs), Denver, Colorado, for
Defendant - Appellant.
R. Winslow, Assistant United States Attorney (Jason R. Dunn,
United States Attorney, with her on the brief), Denver,
Colorado, for Plaintiff - Appellee.
TYMKOVICH, Chief Judge, MATHESON, and McHUGH, Circuit Judges.
McHUGH, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Adolph Rodriguez appeals his sentence for a supervised
release violation, arguing the district court misapplied
Colorado law in determining the grade of his offense under
the Guidelines. Because the district court could have reached
the same result by applying federal law, we affirm.
2015, Mr. Rodriguez was convicted of being a felon in
possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1), and he was sentenced to 51 months'
imprisonment followed by three years' supervised release.
Mr. Rodriguez began his term of supervised release on May 10,
October 4, 2018, Mr. Rodriguez's probation officer
petitioned the district court for an arrest warrant and
revocation of Mr. Rodriguez's supervised release,
alleging, among other violations, two instances of
"possession and use of a controlled substance."
App., Vol. I at 19-20. The petition noted that Mr. Rodriguez
had admitted in writing to using cocaine and, on another
occasion, had tested positive for cocaine. The district court
granted the petition and issued an arrest warrant. When
officers arrested Mr. Rodriguez, a search of his residence
"revealed a fully loaded .38 special revolver, .38
caliber ammunition, suspected cocaine base, suspected
marijuana, and drug paraphernalia." Id., Vol.
II at 6.
sentencing hearing on November 19, 2018, Mr. Rodriguez
admitted to one instance of "possession and use of a
controlled substance, " along with several other
violations of his supervised release conditions. Mr.
Rodriguez further "stipulate[d] that there [was] a
factual basis for each of these violations," although he
did not elaborate on the details of that factual basis.
Id., Vol. III at 16-17.
district court determined, over Mr. Rodriguez's
objection, that Mr. Rodriguez's conduct constituted
possession of cocaine under Colorado law, an offense
punishable by more than one year's imprisonment, and was
therefore a Grade B violation of his supervised release
conditions. The district court declined to analyze whether
Mr. Rodriguez's conduct would have constituted a Grade B
or a Grade C violation under federal law. It sentenced Mr.
Rodriguez to 21 months' imprisonment (the
Government's recommended sentence, at the low end of the
Grade B range). Explaining its choice of sentence, the
district court emphasized the danger Mr. Rodriguez posed to
the public because of his history of repeated drug use while
in possession of a firearm. Mr. Rodriguez timely appealed.
Standard of Review
review the district court's application of the Sentencing
Guidelines for abuse of discretion. United States v.
Martinez, 512 F.3d 1268, 1275 (10th Cir. 2008). In
applying that standard, we review questions of law de novo
and factual findings for clear error, "giving due
deference to the district court's application of the