The Federal Docket

United States v. Diosme Hano and Reinaldo Arrastia-Cardoso (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendants’ convictions and sentences, holding that 1) the statute of limitations did not bar prosecution since subsequent DNA testing implicated the defendant, 2) a non-testifying co-defendant’s hearsay statements implicating the defendant were admissible as non-testimonial since the co-defendant had no reason to believe the statements would serve as a substitute for testimony, 3) there were no evidentiary errors and the evidence was sufficient to convict, 4) the prosecutor’s comment in closing that there was no other explanation for defendants’ DNA at the crime scene was not a comment on the defendant’s decision not to testify, and 5) the sentencing court properly applied an enhancement for “using” a weapon.

United States v. Bechir Delva, Dan Kenny Delva (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendants’ convictions, holding, among other things, that there was probable cause to justify warrantless search of the defendant’s vehicle where officers could tie the vehicle to identity fraud, the defendant’s repeated use of an access device to obtain benefits reflected knowledge that the access device belonged to a real person, the government was allowed to use a detective as an expert witness on common slang terms in identity fraud cases, and the district court properly applied a firearm enhancement.

Stony Lester v. United States (11th Cir. April 2019), Denial of Rehearing En Banc

The Court denied the petitioner’s request for a rehearing en banc, leaving in place the rule in In re Griffin that provisions of the Sentencing Guidelines cannot be challenged as void-for-vagueness and that the Supreme Court’s rule in Johnson is not retroactively applicable to career-offender sentences imposed either under the advisory or mandatory version of the Guidelines.

United States v. Juan Fletcher Gordillo (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court affirmed application of the enhancement for an offense involving a firearm “capable of accepting a large capacity magazine” where the firearm in question was in “close proximity” to a high capacity magazine as measured by its physical distance and accessibility.

United States v. Tanganica Corbett (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court vacated the defendant’s sentence for identity fraud after holding that the sentencing court improperly enhanced the defendant’s offense level because it counted as victims individuals whose means of identification were stolen but not “used.” The Court affirmed the district court’s loss amount, holding that defendant did not present an argument establishing plain error.

United States v. Terin Moss (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court vacated the defendant’s sentence after holding that a prior conviction under Georgia’s aggravated assault statute is not a “crime of violence” under the ACCA or Federal Sentencing Guidelines when the conviction is based on a simple assault with a mens rea of recklessness.

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. 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. Valois

United States v. Valois, et al., No. 17-13535 (February 12, 2019) Two groups of individuals were intercepted by the Coast Guard and prosecuted separately for drug trafficking on the high seas. The Court affirmed the second group’s convictions, holding that a mistrial was not warranted based on the prosecutor’s references to a conspiracy between the …

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United States v. Enrique Montano-Garcia

United States v. Enrique Montano-Garcia, No. 17-11773 (February 5, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court held that the sentencing court erred in attributing to the defendant the entire drug quantity found at his co-conspirator’s apartment because the court failed to make a finding that the defendant, a drug courier, agreed to participate in the co-conspirator’s broader criminal …

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