US v. Maurice Jeffer


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00315-JFM-1. Copies to all parties and the district court. [1000000105]. [16-4348]

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Appeal: 16-4348 Doc: 42 Filed: 01/09/2017 Pg: 1 of 4 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4348 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. MAURICE LAMAR JEFFERS, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. J. Frederick Motz, Senior District Judge. (1:15-cr-00315-JFM-1) Submitted: December 30, 2016 Decided: January 9, 2017 Before WILKINSON, TRAXLER, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. James Wyda, Federal Public Defender, Joanna Silver, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Rachel Miller Yasser, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4348 Doc: 42 Filed: 01/09/2017 Pg: 2 of 4 PER CURIAM: Maurice Lamar Jeffers pleaded guilty to converting the property of another as a U.S. Officer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 654 (2012), and to theft of government property greater than $1000, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641 (2012). court imposed two concurrent The district above-Guidelines sentences of imprisonment for one year and one day, upwardly varying from the Sentencing Guidelines range of zero to six months’ imprisonment. On appeal, Jeffers challenges both the substantive reasonableness of his sentence. procedural and After reviewing the sentence, we affirm the district court’s judgment. This court reviews a sentence for reasonableness under an abuse-of-discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007). ensure that The first step in this review requires us to the procedural error. calculate (or district Id. improperly court committed no significant Procedural errors include “failing to calculating) the Guidelines range, treating the Guidelines as mandatory, failing to consider the § 3553(a) factors, selecting a sentence based on clearly erroneous facts, or failing to adequately explain the chosen sentence — including an explanation for any deviation from the Guidelines range.” When Id. explaining the sentence, “the district court must state in open court the particular reasons supporting its chosen 2 Appeal: 16-4348 Doc: 42 Filed: 01/09/2017 Pg: 3 of 4 sentence [and] set forth enough to satisfy the appellate court that [the sentencing judge] has considered the parties’ arguments and has a reasoned basis for exercising his own legal decisionmaking authority.” 325, 328 (4th Cir. United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 2009). The district court’s explanation “need not be elaborate or lengthy[,]” but the district court “must make presented.” court must an individualized assessment based Id. at 330 (emphasis omitted). consider the statutory factors on the facts While a district and explain its sentence, it need not explicitly reference 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (2012) or discuss every factor on the record. United States v. Johnson, 445 F.3d 339, 345 (4th Cir. 2006). Only if we find the sentence procedurally reasonable can we consider its substantive reasonableness. Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. This assessment requires us to “take into account the totality of the circumstances, including the extent of any variance from the Guidelines range.” district whole, itself. court’s justify Id. decision the extent We “must give due deference to the that of the the § 3553(a) variance” factors, and the on a sentence Id. at 51; United States v. Diosdado-Star, 630 F.3d 359, 366-67. Nevertheless, “[t]he farther the [district] court diverges from the advisory guideline range, the more compelling the reasons for divergence must be.” 3 United States v. Hampton, Appeal: 16-4348 441 Doc: 42 F.3d Filed: 01/09/2017 284, 288 (4th Cir. Pg: 4 of 4 2006) (internal quotation marks omitted). The record of Jeffers’ sentencing hearing confirms that the district court reasonable imposed sentence. a The procedurally court cited and substantively § 3553(a), discussed reasons for the sentence that overlap with § 3553(a) factors, rejected Jeffers’ nonfrivolous arguments with adequate reasons, and tailored the sentence to the seriousness of Jeffers’ individual conduct. Absent any procedural error, we next review the sentence for substantive reasonableness. While the district court imposed a sentence twice the maximum Guidelines sentence of six months, “deviations from the Guidelines range will always appear more extreme . . . when the range itself is low.” U.S. at 38. Gall, 552 Here, the district court justified the extent of its deviation based upon the seriousness of Jeffers’ conduct and the need for punishment to ensure that other law enforcement officers would not undermine the public’s trust as Jeffers had. Because we conclude that the district court imposed a reasonable sentence, we affirm the district court’s judgment. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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