United States v. Kifwa, No. 16-1766 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted, after a jury trial, of visa fraud, possession of firearms by a non-immigrant alien, bank fraud, and making materially false statements to a government agency. While he was being held in pretrial detention, Defendant continued to conduct his criminal enterprise over a prison telephone, using a language seldom heard in the United States. Before trial, the government sought to use translations of the recorded prison telephone calls. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to exclude the translations, and, during trial, the government entered four transcripts into evidence. Defendant appealed, arguing that the introduction of the transcripts unfairly prejudiced him and that his trial counsel was ineffective. The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence, holding (1) Defendant failed to show that the admission of the transcripts prejudiced him; and (2) Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel must be brought in collateral post-conviction proceedings.