United States v. Wilson, No. 17-12379 (11th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and 63 month sentence for possession of an unregistered, sawed-off shotgun. The court rejected defendant's contention that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction; there was more than sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably infer that defendant knew his shotgun was a weapon, not a collector's item, and that he further knew the shotgun, as modified, was less than 26 inches in overall length, or at least that its barrel was less than 18 inches in length; the district court's instruction to the jury regarding the knowledge element was consistent with court precedent; the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion to suppress where defendant's traffic stop and arrest were both lawful, and the vehicle was properly searched under the inventory search exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement; the court rejected defendant's assertions that the district court reversibly erred in failing either to appoint him competent substitute counsel or to sua sponte continue his trial until standby counsel could be present; and, even assuming arguendo that the district court erred in proceeding with the trial without standby counsel present, any error was harmless. Finally, the court held that the district court did not clearly err by calculating defendant's base offense level under USSG 2K2.1(a)(4)(B).