PUBLISHED OPINIONS

UNITED STATES v. GARY WASHINGTON, 714 F.3d 1358 (11th Cir. 2013); I represented

Gary Washington in this case.  He entered a guilty plea, without a plea agreement.  

This case was reversed and remanded on a United States Sentencing Guideline error.  

The United States sought a sentencing enhancement based

upon the number of alleged victims in this credit card fraud case, but failed to present

evidence on the number of victims.  The United States sought a remand to present

evidence, but the Eleventh Circuit held that they had their opportunity to present

evidence and Ordered a sentence reduction on remand to the District Court.  

This case was published nationwide in the Federal Reporter Series

and is now binding case law in the Eleventh Circuit.  

UNITED STATES v. JACQUES MADDOX, 803 F.3d 1215 (11th Cir. 2015); I represented 

Jacques Maddox through his jury trial to his direct appeal.  The sentence in this

case was affirmed.  Mr. Maddox was found guilty of aiding and abetting an attempted

armed robbery, but found not guilty of the Title 18 U.S.C. Section 9249(c) charge of

aiding and abetting a robbery during which a firearm was brandished.  The primary

issue in this appeal were sentencing guideline enhancements based upon acquitted

conduct.  cert. denied, 136 S.Ct. 852 (2016).  

                                                                    OTHER NOTABLE OPINIONS

UNITED STATES v. RASHICA SHAGUANA FORD, No. 18-14128 (11th Cir. 2019); Ms. Ford was

convicted in a conspiracy to commit arson case.  I did not represent her at trial.  I represented

Ms. Ford on appeal and was able to get her conviction reversed due to the fact that the District

Court allowed a recording of a witness interview to be played during the jury trial which had

not been and could not be properly verified and authenticated, pursuant to the Federal Rules

of Evidence.   

UNITED STATES v. JULIAN NICHOLAS, 136 F. App'x 314 (2005); Mr. Nicholas was on a return

flight from the Caribbean to Orlando International Airport.  Mr. Nicholas brought with him a

small cooler that contained frozen fish.  United States Customs determined that these frozen

fish were filled with cocaine.  Mr. Nicholas was convicted at trial and given a sentence within 

the United States Sentencing Guidelines.  At the sentencing, I objected that the mandatory

nature of the United States Sentencing Guidelines was unconstitutional.  Post sentencing, but

while the appeal was still pending, the United States Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional

for the sentencing guidelines to be mandatory.  United States v. Booker, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005).  

Whereupon , the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals set aside Mr. Nicholas sentence and remanded

his case for a new sentencing hearing.  At the second sentencing hearing, Mr. Nicholas' sentence

was reduced to a sentence below the applicable United States Sentencing Guidelines.  

UNITED STATES v. FREDERICK BODISON, No. 12-15812 (11th Cir. 2013); I represented Mr. Bodison in  

a jury trial on a four count Indictment regarding cocaine distribution.  Mr. Bodison was acquitted

of the conspiracy count, but convicted on three other counts.  During trial, a law enforcement

agent testified that he had no knowledge that a trial witness and the alleged co-conspirator

was in a gang that sold drugs.  At sentencing, this same agent testified that this particular

co-conspirator was in a gang that sold drugs.  The Eleventh Circuit applied a plain error

standard of review stating that this issue had not been brought up in Mr. Bodison's

Motion for a New Trial in the District Court.  However, the Brady v. Maryland issue of failure

to reveal exculpatory evidence did not come to light until the testimony at the sentencing 

hearing.  Obviously, the Motion for a New Trial was filed prior to the sentencing hearing.

The Eleventh Circuit did find that a Brady violation occurred, but determined that it was not

prejudicial and therefore not reversible error.    

UNITED STATES v. W. HUGH PARKSNo. 98-2349 (11th Cir. 1998) (Appeal No. 1); Mr. Parks was

a B movie producer and founded a company called Quest entertainment.  Primarily, Quest

Entertainment ended up being a platform for fraud.   The United States District Court

imposed a suspended sentence upon Mr. Parks.  Researching the issue, I found out 

that it was quite clear that a suspended sentence was illegal in federal court.  However, 

I had filed a Motion for a Downward Departure that the United States District Court

had declared moot at the sentencing hearing.  On appeal, the United States continued to

argue that the Motion for Downward Departure was irrelevant and that the prison sentence

previously suspended by the District should simply be imposed on appeal.  The United States

Court of Appeals disagreed and remanded this case to the United States District Court, with

instructions to have a full hearing on the motion and state on the record why the motion

was either being granted or denied.   

UNITED STATES v. W. HUGH PARKS, No. 99-2463 (11th Cir. 1999) (Appeal No. 2); On remand, 

the United States District Court simply wrote denied on the Motion for Downward Departure

and failed to conduct a hearing of any kind.  I immediately filed for appeal.   In this appeal, 

the United States actually conceded that the United States District Court had violated the

remand instructions by failing to hold and hearing and state reasons for either granting

or denying the motion.  Once again, Mr. Parks case was remanded for sentencing, with

instruction to conduct the required hearing.   

                                                         HABEAS CORPUS

 

UNITED STATES v. MADAIRES BOYD, 6:04-Cr-71-Orl-19KRS; 06:05-Cv-1106-Orl-19KRS (2006).  

i represented Mr. Boyd in a habeas corpus proceeding, pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.

The gist of the matter was that Mr. Boyd requested that his previous attorney file a direct appeal

of his sentence.  An evidentiary hearing was held in the United States District Court.  Mr, Boyd 

testified that his attorney met with him at the county jail after his sentencing hearing and

that he requested his attorney file a direct appeal of his sentence.  Mr. Boyd's previous

attorney testified at the hearing that he did not even meet with Mr. Boyd after his sentencing

hearing.  After this evidentiary hearing, I received previously requested jail records from

the county jail which demonstrated that Mr. Boyd's previous attorney had been to this

county jail on the date which Mr. Boyd alleged.  A motion and notice was filed in the 

United States District Court revealing this new evidence and again requesting that Mr. Boyd's

right to a direct appeal of his sentence be reinstated.  The United States District Court

held that Mr. Boyd was entitled to have his right to a direct appeal reinstated and was

entitled to a new sentencing at which new United States Sentencing Guidelines would

be applicable.  At the new sentencing hearing, Mr. Boyd received a reduction on his sentence.                                                         

UNITED STATES v. DANIEL PEREZ6:02-Cr-89-Orl-31DAB (2002), I represented Mr. Perez in a

possession with intent to distribute cocaine case.  Mr. Perez was also facing a State of Florida

violation of probation case.  A plea deal was negotiated with an Assistant U.S. Attorney to

allow Mr. Perez to serve his State of Florida sentence concurrent with his federal sentence.  

During these discussions, the Assistant U.S. Attorney suggested that the language used

in the plea agreement contain a statement that Mr. Perez's federal sentence be co-terminus

with his State of Florida sentence.  The United States District Court used this language in the

judgment and sentence.  The Department of Corrections became confused and requested that

the United States District Court provide guidance regarding this sentence.  The United States

District Court requested that I file a Habeas Corpus Petition, purusant to Title 28 U.S.C. Section 

2255.  I prepared the petition and the District Court held that Mr. Perez's federal sentence

was to end at the same time as his federal sentence.  Ultimately, the end result was that

Mr. Perez was released from federal prison and had more than 5 years taken off of his

federal prison sentence.   

2020 Joseph R. Johnson P.A. 

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