United States v. Vandergrift, Jr., No. 12-13154 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant, convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography, appealed his sentence for revocation of his supervised release. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in revoking defendant's supervised release because defendant pleaded guilty to conduct underlying two of the supervised release violations - knowingly giving false information to a probation officer and violating 18 U.S.C. 1001. In regards to the reasonableness of defendant's sentence, the Supreme Court has not addressed whether it is error to consider a factor listed in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a)(2)(A) when imposing a sentence after revoking supervised release. The court has not addressed the issue in a published opinion, and those circuits that have are split. Because the Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue and there is a circuit split, any alleged error cannot be plain. In light of Tapia v. United States and the court's circuit precedent, the court found that the district court erred when it sentenced defendant to prison because it considered rehabilitation when doing so. However, the err did not affect defendant's substantial rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.