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Tag Archives: Sentencing

4th Cir.: Enhancement improper without “overt act” predicates (access required)

The district court erred in sentencing the defendant as a career offender because his prior convictions for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine are not controlled substance offenses for career offender purposes. No career-offender predicates Appellant ...

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4th Cir.: Scam “reloader” targeted vulnerable victims (access required)

The district court did not err in applying a “vulnerable victim” sentencing enhancement to a defendant who worked at a fraudulent telemarketing center as a “reloader,” targeting individuals who had already fallen for the scheme at least once, in the ...

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4th Cir.: Non-contact child porn victims entitled to restitution (access required)

A defendant waived his right to appeal an award of $100,000 restitution to his child victim, but the district court’s reasons for denying restitution to other, non-contact victims contradicted U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Background Appellant Mario Dillard used computer programs ...

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4th Cir.: Revocation hearing no vehicle to attack sentence (access required)

Considering revocation of the defendant’s supervised release, the district court correctly determined that it lacked jurisdiction to rule on the defendant’s challenge to the constitutionality of his underlying sentence. And based on the nature of the defendant’s threats to his ...

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4th Cir.: “Career offender” designation was error (access required)

After prevailing on a prior motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the defendant was resentenced but improperly designated as a career offender. Because the incorrect designation led to application of the wrong version of the Guidelines Manual, resentencing is required. ...

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CAV: Sentence enhancement for federal conviction improper (access required)

The trial court erred in finding that the federal statute underlying the defendant’s prior conviction for felony possession of a firearm was substantially similar to the state law under which the defendant was most recently convicted. Because the federal law ...

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4th Cir.: Flight to Thailand didn’t show “responsibility” (access required)

The district court did not err in declining to reduce the defendant’s sentence on grounds that he accepted responsibility for his offenses, since he fled the country before his initial sentencing hearing. However, the defendant should have been granted leave ...

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4th Cir.: Court didn’t explain rejection of mental health mitigation (access required)

When asked to impose a shorter sentence based on the defendant’s well-documented history of mental illness, the sentencing court was required to explain why it rejected such mitigation. Defense counsel had argued that the defendant’s multiple death threats sent to ...

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4th Cir.: Ship owners liable for crew hiding sludge discharge (access required)

Two Greek entities were vicariously liable for violations of international maritime-pollution laws by their cargo vessel’s crewmembers, as well as for the crewmembers attempts to conceal those violations. Background In 2015, the cargo vessel Ocean Hope – owned and operated ...

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