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Category: Blog

From case law developments to perspectives to news, you'll find it here.

March 24, 2023
First Circuit Holds District Court Failed to Articulate Plausible Rationale for Imposing Upward Variance

United States v. Flores-Nater, No. 21-1856, 21-1979 (1st Cir. 2023) Flores-Nater was charged with kidnapping resulting in death, use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence causing murder. He pled pursuant to a plea agreement to the one count of […]

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March 24, 2023
Florida District Court Holds Robbery Jury Instructions too Vague, Vacates 924(c) convictions

United States v. Louis, No. 21-CR-20252 (S.D. Fla.) A district court in the Southern District of Florida granted a Louis’ motion to dismiss six 18 U.S.C. 924(c) counts based on the argument that the Eleventh Circuit’s Pattern Jury Instructions on Hobbs Act robbery is overbroad. Eleventh Circuit Jury Instruction 70.3 instructs the jury that a […]

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March 17, 2023
Law Office of Jeremy Gordon Secures Time Served Order Following Successful 2255 Motion: Wright

United States v. Wright, No. 4:12-cr-197 (N.D. Okla.) In 2013, Wright pled guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1951; attempted Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1951 and 2; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c); […]

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March 10, 2023
Fifth Circuit Holds District Court's Relevant Conduct Ruling Insufficient Stubblefield

Stubblefield's Case and Sentencing Stubblefield pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. At sentencing, when calculating the base offense level, the district court held Stubblefield responsible for all methamphetamine attributable to the conspiracy under U.S.S.G. 1B1.3. Stubblefield  appealed, arguing that the district court failed to make sufficient factual findings to support its relevant conduct findings. About […]

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March 3, 2023
First Circuit Vacates Sentence Based on Inadequate Explanation for Upward Variance: Munoz-Fontanez

Munoz pled guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. As a part of the plea agreement, the parties agreed to recommend a sentence between 96 and 120 months imprisonment. The aggregate Guideline Sentencing Range (“GSR”) for the offenses was 60 to 66 […]

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March 3, 2023
Seventh Circuit Vacates and Remands Sentence for Failure to Make Findings on Drug Dispute and Imposing a Sentence Above the Statutory Max: Barfield

Barfield pled guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 27 years and 20 years on each conspiracy count. At sentencing, the parties disputed the total quantity of heroin sale attributed to Barfield. The PSR recommended that he be held accountable for 16 kilograms of heroin, which the […]

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February 24, 2023
Fourth Circuit Vacates Sentence For Inadequate Explanation: Queriapa

Queriapa Background Queriapa was sentenced to 46-months imprisonment following a guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry after deportation subsequent to a felony conviction, in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326(a), (b)(1). On appeal before the Fourth Circuit, Queriapa challenged the procedural reasonableness of his sentence, arguing that the district court improperly calculated his Guidelines […]

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February 20, 2023
BOP Program Statements Regarding the First Step Act

February 20th Update: Persons with Detainers No Longer Foreclosed From Application of FTC Credits The Bureau of Prisons has indicated that the following language has been removed from the program statement concerning the application of FSA Time Credits The highlighted text in has been changed (either added or struck through) in Section 10. APPLICATION OF […]

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February 17, 2023
Courts Consider Warrantless Searches

Seventh Circuit Throws out Warrantless Search of House, Retrieval of Gun based on Snapchat Viewing:  Banks United States v. Banks, No. 22-1312 (7th Cir. 2023) In April 2021, Springfield police saw a Snapchat post of Banks barbequing on his front porch with a gun sitting on the grill’s side shelf. One of the officers saw […]

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February 10, 2023
Suppression Denial Tossed Where Warrant Affidavit Failed to Establish PC: Sanders

Facts:  Controlled Buys and Search Warrant, but No Evidence of Credibility of Confidential Informant On April 24, 2019, an Officer with the Lexington Police Department applied for a warrant relating to Sanders. In the affidavit in support of the warrant, the officer stated that a confidential informant (“CI”) advised the officer that Sanders was selling […]

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