United States v. Keneon Fitzroy Isaac (11th Cir. February 2021)

The Federal Docket

Fourth Amendment – The district court did not clearly err in finding that alternatives to impounding an arrestee’s car were impractical where the officer claimed he did not have time to wait for an alternative because needed to interview the arrestee and the police department was short staffed.

Sentencing Guidelines – The Court affirmed the application of the enhancement under 2G2.1(b)(5) where the minor victim was “otherwise in the custody, care, or supervisory control of the defendant” and the defendant acted like a temporary caretaker to the victim and assisted the victim’s family.

The Court held that the district court’s finding that officers impounding the defendants’ car was justified because the arrestee’s proposed alternative to impoundment, calling someone to get his car, was impractical was not clearly erroneous. The officer’s police department also had standard operating procedure also directing that impoundment is not allowed unless alternatives are unsuccessful or impractical. However, the district court did not clearly err by finding that alternatives were impractical here where the officer stated that he did not have time to wait for an alternative since he wanted to interview the arrestee and the police department was short on staffing.

The Court also held that the sentencing court properly applied the enhancement under USSG 2G2.1(b)(5) where the minor victim was “otherwise in the custody, care, or supervisory control of the defendant.” The Court held there was sufficient evidence that the minor victim was in the “care” of Isaac based on evidence that he was “looking after” her when her mother was not around, akin to a temporary caretaker, he was providing for the victim and her family, and “he was the only adult alone with her when he committed his crimes.” The Court also affirmed application of the enhancements for a pattern of sexual abuse under §§ 2G2.2(b)(5)  and 4B1.5(b) based on the defendant producing child pornography on two occasions, the minimum to qualify for the enhancement.

Appeal from the Middle District of Florida
Opinion by E. Carnes, joined by Branch and Luck

Click here to read the opinion.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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