Take the Fifth: April 14, 2021 opinions

Designated for publication

  • U.S. v. Williams, 20-40157, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • Oldham, J. (Higginbotham, Costa, Oldham), criminal, restitution
    • Affirming restitution award of more than $2 million for defendant on guilty plea conviction of four counts of wire fraud involving purported sales of cattle in which defendant absconded with the money without producing the cattle. “The question presented is ‘Where’s the beef?’ Wendy’s Kind of Commercial, Broadcasting, Mar. 26, 1984, at 57.”
    • The Court noted the district court’s process in going through each line item of purported loss by the victim, and that it had actually eliminated two items of purported loss as not actual losses arising from fraud instead of from legitimate conduct by the defendant, and held that the government had met its burden of corroborating the losses ultimately included in the restitution award. “The Government bore its burden of proving an actual loss of $2,066,525. Williams’s only response is that he cannot rebut the Government’s evidence because he did not keep records of where the legal beef sales ended and the fraudulent ones began. That won’t cut it.”

Unpublished

  • U.S. v. Santos, 19-10683, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Davis, Stewart, Dennis), criminal, search and seizure, supervised release
    • Affirming conviction of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, upholding denial of motion to suppress and affirming conditions of supervised release.
  • U.S. v. Liggins, 19-40413, appeal from E.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), habeas corpus
    • Vacating district court’s denial of § 2255 petition, and remanding for resentencing, where district court had impermissibly engaged in fact-finding that increased the mandatory minimum sentence.
  • Viera v. Garland, 19-60458, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), immigration
    • Dismissing in part and denying in part Cuban citizen’s petition for review of BIA order dismissing his appeal of the Immigration Judge’s (IJ) order denying: asylum; withholding of removal; and relief under the Convention Against Torture.
  • Alfonso v. Garland, 19-60698, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), immigration
    • Denying Cuban citizen’s petition for review of BIA order dismissing his appeal of the Immigration Judge’s (IJ) order denying: asylum; withholding of removal; and relief under the Convention Against Torture.
  • Baires-Lemos v. Garland, 19-60767, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), immigration
    • Dismissing in part and denying in part El Salvadoran citizen’s petition for review of BIA order affirming the immigration judge’s (IJ) denial of her application for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture.
  • U.S. v. Garrido, 20-10740, appeal from N.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), criminal, sentencing
    • Affirming 144-month sentence on guilty plea conviction to conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
  • U.S. v. Smith, 20-20143, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Jolly, Elrod, Graves), criminal, search and seizure
    • Affirming conviction on conditional guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm, and upholding district court’s denial of motion to suppress.
  • Jackson v. Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance Co., 20-30451, appeal from W.D. La.
    • Graves, J. (Jones, Clement, Graves), insurance
    • Affirming district court’s award of statutory penalties, attorneys’ fees, and costs against insurer in suit arising from automobile accident.
  • U.S. v. Solis-Sanchez, 20-40127, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Dennis, Costa, Engelhardt), criminal
    • Granting Anders motion to withdraw, and dismissing appeal.
  • U.S. v. Lopez-Lopez, 20-40199, appeal from S.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (Jones, Clement, Haynes), criminal
    • Granting Anders motion to withdraw, and dismissing appeal.
  • U.S. v. Calhoun, 20-40479, appeal from E.D. Tex.
    • per curiam (King, Smith, Wilson), criminal, compassionate release
    • Affirming denial of motion for compassionate release.
  • Goncalves-Martinowski v. Wilkinson, 20-60032, petition for review of BIA order
    • per curiam (Barksdale, Graves, Oldham), immigration
    • Denying Brazilian citizen’s petition for review of BIA order dismissing his appeal without opinion from the denial by an Immigration Judge (IJ) of his 2018 motion to reopen.
  • Edwards v. Cain, 20-60445, appeal from S.D. Miss.
    • per curiam (Clement, Elrod, Haynes), habeas corpus
    • Affirming district court’s granting of voluntary dismissal of petitioner’s § 2254 petition.