United States v. St. Hilaire, No. 19-640 (2d Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. The district court applied a four-level sentencing enhancement for possessing a firearm with "an altered or obliterated serial number," under USSG 2K2.1(b)(4)(B).
Consistent with its sister circuits, the court held that the enhancement applies if a single iteration of a serial number has been altered or obliterated, notwithstanding whether another may be legible. Moreover, the court held that "altered" means illegible to the naked eye. In this case, the court held that the district court did not err by applying the enhancement by assessing the iteration of the serial number that was most badly scored and finding as fact that it was illegible to the naked eye.