United States v. Romans, No. 13-40219 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendants Romans, Moseby, Harden, and Booker were convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana. The court concluded that a rational finder of fact could have found that venue in the Eastern District of Texas was proven by a preponderance of the evidence; the Government presented significant evidence of concurring acts, actors, and events from which a rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Booker was a member of the charged conspiracy; Harden has not shown that the district court abused its discretion by failing to appoint substitute counsel; Harden’s decision to represent himself was voluntary, knowing, and intelligent; Harden has not shown that the district court erred in balancing the sentencing factors or that the Guidelines sentence imposed was an abuse of discretion, nor has he rebutted the presumption of reasonableness that applies to his bottom-of-the-Guidelines sentence; and, because Harden’s sentence was not increased under the residual clause, the court need not determine whether, under Johnson v. United States, any part of USSG 4B1.1 is void. The court vacated Moseby's sentence and remanded for resentencing because the application of USSG 2D1.1(b)(1) was clearly erroneous. The court rejected defendants' remaining claims and affirmed in all other respects.