Ninth Circuit

The Federal Docket

United States v. Jack Voris (9th Cir. July 2020)

The Ninth Circuit reversed one of the defendant’s assault convictions and corresponding § 924(c) convictions as multiplicitous because the defendant, although charged with shooting at five officers, only shot at them four times. The Court also held that multiple shots fired in quick succession do not necessarily mean the firearm was only used once under 924(c).

United States v. Francisca Rodriguez-Gamboa (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court held that the defendant could not be removed and later charged with illegal reentry based on a conviction under California law that was broader in defining methamphetamine than the federal law defining methamphetamine.

United States v. Michael Kimbrew (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court found that there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant for bribery based on evidence that he took money from an undercover agent to perform an official act, even though the defendant lacked the actual ability to exert the promised influence necessary to perform the official act. The Court explained that the Government does not have to prove that a bribery defendant actually has the ability to achieve the promised outcome since the crime of bribery is based on the agreement, not the outcome.

United States v. Nowlin Lee Waugh, Jr. (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for possession of meth with intent to distribute, holding that the defendant was not entitled to a jury instruction on the lesser included offense of simple possession where the evidence showed that the quantity of meth exceeded the quantity associated with personal use, the meth’s purity suggested that the meth was being used as a cutting agent, and the defendant’s travel indicated possible distribution.

United States v. Steven Wang (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court held that the sentencing court committed plain error by applying the general-fraud Guidelines under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1 because the defendant’s mail fraud conviction also established a visa fraud offense specifically covered under U.S.S.G. § 2L2.1, the Guideline for visa fraud.

United States v. Simon Hong (9th Cir. September 2019)

The Court reversed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated identity theft, holding that the defendant did not “use” his patient’s identifying information when he fraudulent billed Medicare for services he never provided them, since he did not use their identifying information for the purposes of passing himself off as another person.

United States v. Roger William Campbell II (9th Cir. September 2019)

The Court affirmed the district court’s order sentencing the defendant to consecutive terms of imprisonment for violating his supervised release. Even though the district court had initially imposed concurrent terms of imprisonment and supervised release, the Guidelines allow a sentencing court to impose consecutive or concurrent sentences following the revocation of supervised release.

United States v. Cesar Antonio Becerra (9th Cir. September 2019)

The Court reversed the defendant’s conviction, holding that the district court’s failure to orally instruct the jury on the elements of the charged offenses was a structural and plain error even where the district court orally confirmed with each juror that they had read the instructions.

United States v. Samir Benamor (9th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held that the “antique firearm defense” was an affirmative defense as opposed to an element of the 922(g). The Court acknowledged that it remains an open question whether the “antique firearm defense” is objective, meaning that the age of the firearm alone determines the availability of the defense, or whether the defense is subjective, meaning the defense applies when a defendant reasonably believes the firearm was manufactured before 1899.

United States v. Neal Martin Bain (9th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held that it was plain error for the district court to accept the defendant’s plea to armed robbery where the factual basis was based on his placing a closed pocket knife on the bank teller’s counter while pulling a plastic bag out of his pocket, as this did not constitute “use of a deadly weapon.”

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