Fifth Circuit

The Federal Docket

United States v. Rodolfo Rodriguez-Leos (5th Cir. March 2020)

Sentencing Guidelines The defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of ammunition by a person admitted to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa. Law enforcement had witnessed the defendant purchasing ammunition and leaving it in locations to be picked up and eventually smuggled into Mexico. At sentencing, the district court applied the enhancement under U.S.S.G. § …

United States v. Rodolfo Rodriguez-Leos (5th Cir. March 2020) Read More »

United States v. Robert Warren Scully (5th Cir. March 2020)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction, holding that the good faith exception applied to law enforcement’s search of two separate addresses despite only identifying one address in the search warrant. The Court noted that the lack of signs distinguishing the two addresses and their proximity made it reasonable for the officers to treat the two addresses as one.

United States v. Corey Smith (5th Cir. March 2020)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction, holding that a traffic stop was not unlawfully prolonged where the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle and asked questions about the driver and passengers’ reasons for travel and destination, and new reasonable suspicion was created based on “implausible elements” and contradictory answers in the driver and passengers’ responses to the questioning.

United States v. Odis Lee Jackson (5th Cir. December 2019)

The Fifth Circuit held that the de novo standard of review applies to a district court’s determination regarding a defendant’s eligibility under the First Step Act, but that the abuse-of-discretion standard applies to the district court’s decision whether to actually reduce the defendant’s sentence.

United States v. Charles Fulton Sr. (5th Cir. June 2019), On Petition for Rehearing

The Court agreed that the initial warrant by local law enforcement failed to particularize that computers, electronics, or phones were to be seized, so the seizure of the phone was improper. However, the Court held that the evidence was admissible under the good faith exception, since the federal agents that later acquired the phone from the local police and executed a search warrant did not know the police seized it unlawfully (as they had held on to the phone for a year) and since the applicability of the warrant to cell phones was a close question.

United States v. Rosie Diggles, et al (5th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant of fraud despite her not handling any reimbursement requests based on her role as supervisor at one of the Foundation’s learning centers, her knowledge of the actual costs, and evidence supporting a “reasonable inference that Rosie knew of the overbilling scheme,” including that she was married to one co-conspirator and the daughter of another.

Ricky Langley v. Warden (5th Cir. June 2019), EN BANC

The Court held that the state court’s ruling that the defendant’s third conviction for murder was not barred by the double jeopardy clause was not contrary to clearly established law as stated in the Supreme Court’s holding Ashe v. Swenson, since Ashe applies to prosecutions following general acquittals for the same conduct, not convictions, even where a defendant is convicted on a lesser-included offense.

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