Circuit Court Opinions

The Federal Docket

United States v. Reginald Gibbs (11th Cir. March 2019)

The Court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress finding that the traffic stop leading to the search and seizure of the defendant’s firearm was reasonable despite the officers arriving with their guns drawn and the fact that the defendant was not the driver or otherwise suspected of any criminal activity. The defendant’s brief detention was reasonable given his proximity to the car and driver, and the officers drawing their guns did not affect the legality of the stop.

United States v. Clifford Gandy, Jr. (11th Cir. March 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s sentence as a “career offender” under § 4B1.1 of the Guidelines after finding that the defendant’s prior Florida conviction for battery was a “crime of violence” pursuant to the modified categorical approach.

United States v. Spencer Rozier (11th Cir. March 2019) (Unpublished)

The Court held that circumstantial evidence including the defendant’s criminal history, his signature on the storage unit lease, and his access to the storage unit was sufficient to prove he constructively possessed the controlled substances found within the storage unit.

United States v. Rachel Padgett (11th Cir. March 2019)

The Court held that a pro se defendant’s Notice of Appeal was insufficient under Rule 3(c)(1) where the evidence reflected the defendant’s intention to file a collateral attack instead. The defendant’s notice failed to name a court of appeals or grounds for appeal, she signed a statement declining to pursue an appeal, and she sought to raise an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, one of the few claims not waived by her plea agreement.

United States v. Frank Amodeo

United States v. Frank Amodeo, Nos. 15-12643 & 16-15687 (February 21, 2019) The Court held that the defendant lacked standing to appeal a district court’s partial vacatur of the final forfeiture order in his case. The Court held that the defendant lost all of his rights in the forfeited property when the district court entered …

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United States v. Lee Saint Fleur

United States v. Lee Saint Fleur, No. 18-11309 (February 20, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress based on the independent source doctrine. The officer’s affidavit in support of the application for a search warrant contained sufficient evidence to support probable cause based on his initial entry into …

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United States v. Albert Pickett

United States v. Albert Pickett, No. 17-13476 (February 20, 2019) The Court remanded the defendant’s second § 2255 motion since the defendant did not have an opportunity to show his conviction was based solely on the ACCA’s residual clause prior to the Eleventh Circuit announcing the heightened standard in Beeman. 28 USC 2255/ACCA – Defendant’s …

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United States v. Stephanie Anor

United States v. Stephanie Anor, No. 17-15608 (February 20, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court vacated the defendant’s sentence after the sentencing court erred in attributing the conspiracy’s entire intended loss amount to the defendant. While the defendant was part of a broader fraudulent tax-return scheme, there was insufficient evidence that that she knew the extent of …

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United States v. Paul Harris

United States v. Paul Harris, No. 18-12418 (February 19, 2019) The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a prison guard defendant’s conviction for Hobbs Act extortion based on evidence that he confiscated contraband from inmates for his personal use and that the inmates “consented” by not reporting the defendant out of fear that they would be punished for …

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United States v. Matthew Caniff

United States v. Matthew Caniff, No. 17-12410 (February 15, 2019) The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(d), holding that the defendant “made a notice” requesting child pornography when he sent a text message soliciting naked pictures from an undercover agent posing as a minor. The Court also found sufficient evidence that …

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