US v. Steve Joseph


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 2:14-cr-00008-MSD-DEM-2 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [999786858].. [15-4249]

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Appeal: 15-4249 Doc: 50 Filed: 04/01/2016 Pg: 1 of 4 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 15-4249 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. STEVE JACOB JOSEPH, a/k/a Steve O, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Norfolk. Mark S. Davis, District Judge. (2:14-cr-00008-MSD-DEM-2) Submitted: December 29, 2015 Decided: April 1, 2016 Before NIEMEYER and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Timothy Anderson, ANDERSON & ASSOCIATES, Virginia Beach, Virginia, for Appellant. Darryl James Mitchell, Assistant United States Attorney, Norfolk, Virginia, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 15-4249 Doc: 50 Filed: 04/01/2016 Pg: 2 of 4 PER CURIAM: After a jury trial, Steve Jacob Joseph was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin in (b)(1)(A); 846 (2012). violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), Counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 783 (1967), certifying that there are no meritorious court’s issues consideration for appeal, whether the but raising court district for erred the in refusing to admit Joseph’s videotape evidence and determining the sentence. Joseph has filed several pro se supplemental briefs raising additional issues, including challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence and his sentence. did not file a brief. The Government After reviewing the record, we affirm. We review the sufficiency of the evidence de novo and will sustain the verdict if there is substantial evidence, viewed “in the light most favorable to the [G]overnment,” to support the verdicts. Cir. United States v. Hamilton, 699 F.3d 356, 361 (4th 2012). reasonable “[S]ubstantial finder of fact evidence could is accept evidence as that adequate a and sufficient to support a conclusion of a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Cornell, 780 F.3d 616, 630 (4th Cir.) (internal quotation marks omitted), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 127 (2015). It is for the jury, not the court, “to weigh the evidence and judge the credibility of the witnesses.” 2 Appeal: 15-4249 United Doc: 50 States Filed: 04/01/2016 v. Harvey, 532 Pg: 3 of 4 F.3d (internal quotation marks omitted). 326, 333 (4th Cir. 2008) We have reviewed the record and conclude that there was more than sufficient trial evidence to sustain Joseph’s drug conspiracy conviction. We also conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Joseph’s enhanced videotape. See United States v. Johnson, 617 F.3d 286, 292 (4th Cir. 2010) (stating standard of review). We review a sentence for reasonableness, applying an abuse of discretion standard. (2007). Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 46 We first review for significant procedural error, and if the sentence is free from such error, we then consider the substantive reasonableness of the sentence. Id. at 51. district if court commits a procedural error it fails The to calculate (or improperly calculates) the Sentencing Guidelines sentence, treats the Guidelines as mandatory, fails to consider the 18 U.S.C. erroneous sentence. § 3553(a) facts, Id. or (2012) fails to sentencing adequately factors, explain considers the chosen In assessing Guidelines calculations, the Court reviews factual findings for clear error, legal conclusions de novo, and unpreserved arguments for plain error. States v. Strieper, 666 F.3d 288, 292 (4th Cir. 2012). United Because Joseph did not object to any sentencing factor or request a particular sentence, our review of the sentence is for plain 3 Appeal: 15-4249 Doc: 50 error. and Id. Filed: 04/01/2016 Pg: 4 of 4 We conclude that Joseph’s sentence is substantively procedurally reasonable. Finally, we have considered Joseph’s other pro se arguments, including his challenge to the trial court’s decision to allow him to proceed pro se and his attack on the court’s jurisdiction, and find them to be without merit. See Ford v. Pryor, 552 F.3d 1174, 1179-80 (10th Cir. 2008) (rejecting similar jurisdictional arguments as frivolous). In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm the conviction and sentence. This court requires counsel inform Joseph, in writing, of his right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Joseph requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move representation. in this court for leave to withdraw from Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Joseph. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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