Bonifacio Toribio-Almonte was indicted on two counts: (1) conspiracy to import five kilos or more of cocaine and one or more kilos of heroin into the U.S., and (2) conspiracy to possess and distribute five kilos or more of cocaine and one or more kilos of heroin on board a vessel within U.S. customs waters. On the morning his trial was set to begin, he pled guilty without a plea agreement.
Mr. Toribio-Almonte’s guideline range was 188-235 months in prison. He requested a sentence below the guidelines, or at the very least, his minimum mandatory sentence, which was 120 months. The Government requested a 235 month sentence. To support its request for a sentence at the high end of the guideline range, the Government claimed Mr. Toribio-Almonte was a leader or organizer of the conspiracy. The problem for the Government was that it had no evidence whatsoever to back up its claim.