United States v. Francis, No. 16-1449 (10th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Kenneth Francis was convicted by jury on three federal firearms charges, namely, two counts of making false statements to a firearms dealer and one count of unlawful disposition of a firearm to a felon. The charges stemmed from Francis’ straw purchase of two firearms for a felon working as a confidential informant with ATF agents. On appeal, Francis argued: (1) whether the government sufficiently proved he disposed of the firearms to a felon (informant); (2) whether the trial court erred in imposing a four-level sentencing enhancement for trafficking firearms; and (3) whether the district court erred by ordering sex-offender treatment as a special condition of his supervised release. The Tenth Circuit determined the facts found by the district court didn’t suffice to support applying the firearms-trafficking enhancement in calculating Francis’s sentence. The Court found Francis was convicted of a sex offense in 2011, and during the investigation of that crime someone accused him of having intimate sexual contact with a twelve-year-old girl. He failed to complete his previous court-ordered sex- offender-treatment program. Because the record revealed a basis for the sex-offender-treatment condition, Francis could not show prejudice and harm to his substantial rights. So Francis failed to meet his burden under plain error review. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the conviction and sex-offender-treatment special condition, but vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing.