United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
December 14, 2017
from the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia (No. 1:16-cr-00093-1)
E. Davis, appointed by the court, argued the cause for
appellant. With her on the briefs was Thomas Abbenante,
appointed by the court.
P. Saybolt, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argued the cause for
appellee. With him on the brief were Channing D. Phillips,
U.S. Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Elizabeth H. Danello,
and Lindsay Suttenberg, Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
Before: Griffith, Millett, and Pillard, Circuit Judges.
GRIFFITH, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Mattea pleaded guilty to the distribution of child
pornography and agreed to an estimated sentencing range of
151 to 188 months in prison under the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines ("Guidelines"). The district court
sentenced Mattea to 151 months' incarceration. Mattea
appeals, arguing that the district court abused its
discretion by miscalculating the Guidelines range through
application of an inappropriate enhancement and by refusing
to impose a sentence below the Guidelines range. We reject
Mattea's arguments and affirm the district court's
February 2016, Mattea emailed someone he believed was the
parent of a ten-year-old girl, but who turned out to be an
undercover officer from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mattea told the officer he had a sexual interest in children
and wanted to meet and sexually abuse the officer's
purported daughter. Then, in March, Mattea sent the officer
several sexually explicit images of a prepubescent girl who
appeared to be between eleven and twelve years old.
shortly thereafter arrested Mattea at his home in West
Virginia. Investigators seized Mattea's cell phone,
computers, and other electronic devices. All told,
law-enforcement officials found 187 videos and 116 images
depicting child pornography, including videos depicting
sexual acts with infants and toddlers.
October 2016, Mattea pleaded guilty to distribution of child
pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2). As
part of his plea agreement, Mattea acknowledged that, under
the Guidelines, his violation of § 2252(a)(2) set his
"base offense level" at twenty-two (the highest
level being forty-three). Mattea also agreed to the
application of several enhancements that would increase his
offense level and his estimated range of punishment.
Specifically, Mattea received enhancements because his
child-pornography offense concerned material involving a
prepubescent minor or minor under twelve, U.S.S.G. §
2G2.2(b)(2); distribution of contraband, id. §
2G2.2(b)(3)(F); portrayal of sadistic or masochistic conduct,
id. § 2G2.2(b)(4); use of a computer,
id. § 2G2.2(b)(6); and 600 or more images of
child pornography, id. § 2G2.2(b)(7)(D). In his
plea agreement, Mattea expressly reserved the right to
challenge the application of the computer-use enhancement at
his sentencing hearing. These enhancements collectively added
fifteen levels to Mattea's base offense level.
range was also adjusted three levels downward based on
Mattea's demonstrated acceptance of responsibility and
his cooperation with authorities. After applying each of
these enhancements and downward adjustments, Mattea's
total offense level yielded an estimated Guidelines range of
151 to 188 months' incarceration. Mattea agreed that any
sentence within that range would be reasonable.
district court ultimately sentenced Mattea to 151 months'
imprisonment, followed by 240 months of supervised ...