US v. Antonio Anthony William
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:14-cr-00144-WO-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4260]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
ANTONIO ANTHONY WILLIAMS,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at
Greensboro. William L. Osteen, Jr., Chief District Judge. (1:14-cr-00144-WO-1)
Submitted: July 20, 2017
Decided: July 28, 2017
Before DUNCAN, WYNN, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Todd A. Smith, LAW OFFICE OF TODD ALLEN SMITH, Graham, North Carolina, for
Appellant. Robert Albert Jamison Lang, Assistant United States Attorney, WinstonSalem, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Antonio Anthony Williams appeals his conviction and 51-month sentence
imposed following his guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (2012). On appeal, Williams’ counsel has filed a brief
pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), asserting that Williams can raise
no meritorious grounds for appeal but questioning whether the district court erred in
sentencing Williams. Williams was notified of his right to file a pro se supplemental
brief but has not done so. The Government has declined to file a response brief. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
We review a sentence for reasonableness, applying “a deferential abuse-ofdiscretion standard.” Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41 (2007). We first determine
whether the district court committed significant procedural error, such as incorrect
calculation of the Sentencing Guidelines range, inadequate consideration of the 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) (2012) factors, or insufficient explanation of the sentence imposed. United
States v. Dowell, 771 F.3d 162, 170 (4th Cir. 2014).
In evaluating the district court’s Guidelines calculations, we review the district
court’s factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. United States v.
White, 771 F.3d 225, 235 (4th Cir. 2014). We review unpreserved Guidelines challenges
for plain error. United States v. Aplicano-Oyuela, 792 F.3d 416, 422 (4th Cir. 2015); see
Molina-Martinez v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1338, 1343, 1345 (2016) (describing
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If we find no procedural error, we examine the substantive reasonableness of the
sentence under “the totality of the circumstances.” Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. The sentence
imposed must be “sufficient, but not greater than necessary,” to satisfy the goals of
sentencing. See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). We presume on appeal that a within-Guidelines
sentence is substantively reasonable. United States v. Louthian, 756 F.3d 295, 306 (4th
Cir. 2014). Williams bears the burden to rebut this presumption “by showing that the
sentence is unreasonable when measured against the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.” Id.
In his Anders brief, counsel advises that Williams has questioned the impact of
Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), on his sentence. Williams received an
enhanced base offense level based on the sentencing court’s finding that he committed
his underlying federal offense “subsequent to sustaining one felony conviction of either a
crime of violence or a controlled substance offense.” U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual
§ 2K2.1(a)(4)(A) (2015); see USSG § 4B1.2(a) (defining “crime of violence”). As a
predicate crime of violence for the enhancement, the court relied upon Williams’ prior
North Carolina convictions for first degree burglary, each of which was consolidated with
a North Carolina conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon. Counsel concedes
that these prior offenses qualify as crimes of violence that support the enhanced base
offense level. In light of recent authority, we conclude that counsel’s concession is well
In Johnson, the Supreme Court determined that the residual clause of the Armed
Career Criminal Act (ACCA), reaching offenses that “involve conduct that presents a
serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” see 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii)
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(2012), is unconstitutionally vague. 135 S. Ct. at 2556-63. In Beckles v. United States,
137 S. Ct. 886 (2017), however, the Supreme Court declined to extend the reasoning in
Johnson to the Guidelines, holding that the Guidelines are not subject to a due process
vagueness challenge and that the residual clause under USSG § 4B1.2(a) is not void for
vagueness. 137 S. Ct. at 895. In light of Beckles, Williams cannot raise a vagueness
challenge to his predicate crimes of violence under Johnson. Further, any potential
challenge Williams could raise to the classification of his predicate convictions as crimes
of violence is foreclosed by recent opinions from this court. See United States v. Mack,
855 F.3d 581, 586 (4th Cir. 2017) (holding that North Carolina first degree burglary
categorically qualifies as generic “burglary” enumerated under USSG § 4B1.2(a));
United States v. Burns-Johnson, __ F.3d __, No. 16-4338, 2017 WL 3027872, at *1, *5
(4th Cir. July 19, 2017) (holding that North Carolina robbery with dangerous weapon
categorically qualifies as violent felony under ACCA’s force clause); see also United
States v. Montes-Flores, 736 F.3d 357, 363 (4th Cir. 2013) (recognizing that decisions
evaluating whether offense qualifies as ACCA violent felony are used interchangeably
with decisions evaluating whether offense qualifies as Guidelines crime of violence).
Thus, we find no error, plain or otherwise, in Williams’ enhanced base offense level.
Our review of the record reveals that Williams’ sentence is reasonable. The
district court properly calculated Williams’ Guidelines range and sentenced him within
that range and the applicable statutory maximum. The court considered the parties’
arguments in sentencing Williams and articulated a reasoned basis for the sentence it
imposed, grounded in the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. Further, Williams fails to rebut
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the presumption of reasonableness accorded his within-Guidelines sentence.
Louthian, 756 F.3d at 306.
In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and
have found no meritorious issues for appeal. We therefore affirm Williams’ conviction
and sentence. This court requires that counsel inform Williams, in writing, of the right to
petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Williams requests
that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then
counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel’s
motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Williams.
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
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