United States v. Ramon, 958 F.3d 919 (10th Cir. May 1, 2020)

At a probation revocation hearing based on possession of a firearm, the government asserted it may indict Ramon on a new charge resulting from the subsequent possession. The district court, therefore, revoked probation, imposed the maximum 24-month sentence, and ordered it to run consecutive to any future sentence imposed on the new charge. Ramon did not object. On appeal, he argued that district court had plainly erred by exceeding its sentencing authority under 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a) by running the sentence consecutively to a future federal sentence. The Tenth Circuit agreed, holding “that § 3584(a)’s text disallows a district court from a preemptive strike dictating how its sentence will run in relation to later federal sentences.” The error, however, was not plain to the district court as there was no prior Tenth Circuit opinion on point and the court had to engage in extensive statutory interpretation, so the sentence was affirmed.