Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. --------
Michael A. Lord pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money servicing business involving bitcoin and to conspiracy to distribute and possess Alprazolam (Xanax), a Schedule IV controlled substance, with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment on the bitcoin conspiracy and 60 months on the drug conspiracy, to run consecutively. On his first appeal, we affirmed his convictions but reversed and remanded his sentence. On remand, the district court sentenced Lord to consecutive 46 and 60-month sentences, for a total of 106 months. Lord objected because this was the same sentence imposed prior to this court's remand. Lord now appeals, challenging his sentence as procedurally and substantively unreasonable.
We review a district court's sentencing decision for procedural and substantive reasonableness, under the abuse-of-discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 50-51 (2007).
Lord complains that the district court erred in justifying its sentence with only conclusory reasons. But the district court considered the parties' arguments, and it gave its reasons for imposing consecutive sentences totaling 106 months, making clear its rationale for the sentence. See Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. 338, 356 (2007). This is sufficient under our precedent. See id.
Further, Lord cannot show that the district court abused its discretion by misapplying U.S.S.G. § 5G1.2(d). The district court did not impose a Guidelines-based sentence under § 5G1.2(d) but upwardly varied. Section 5G1.2 does not limit the district court's discretion to vary upwardly from the guidelines range based upon the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and impose consecutive sentences. See 18 U.S.C. § 3584; United States v. Conlan, 768 F.3d 380, 394-95 & n.46 (5th Cir. 2015).
Lord's substantive reasonableness challenge also fails under the abuse-of-discretion standard. See United States v. Rodriguez, 602 F.3d 346, 361 (5th Cir. 2010). The district court's comments at sentencing reflect its consideration of the § 3553(a) factors. See United States v. Smith, 440 F.3d 704, 708 (5th Cir. 2006). Lord asks us to reweigh the § 3553(a) factors, which is outside the scope of our review. See Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. Given the deference afforded to a district court's assessment of the § 3553(a) factors and the reasons for its sentencing decision, Lord has not shown that his sentence is unreasonable. See id. at 51.