United States v. Romero

The Facts

Defendant, a former police officer, entered into conspiracy with other delinquents to receive and possess stolen goods.  He participated in cargo theft, received and possessed stolen goods. By his unlawful conduct he actually obstructed justice by knowingly making false statements, intentionally omitting and concealing required information.

Procedural History

Convictions and sentences were affirmed by the appellate court.


U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3B1.3 provides for a two-level increase where a defendant abused a position of public or private trust in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or concealment of the offense.

Based on evidence under 18 U.S.C.S. § 1512(b)(3) jury can reasonably conclude that a defendant engaged in misleading conduct if the latter knowingly made false statements and intentionally omitted and concealed other information.

The Issue

(a) Whether district court erred in using standard of prove;  (b) whether its finding that a defendant abused a position of public trust was not well grounded for this reason.

The Holding/Reasoning

The appellate court determined that there was sufficient factual and circumstantial evidence to support defendant culpability. Evidence of his active participation in criminal venture by aiding and abetting was sufficient to show a conspiracy existed. He was aware of organized criminal activity and willfully joined the conspiracy. “As to the obstruction of justice conviction, the evidence demonstrated that defendant was guilty of both knowingly making a false statement, and intentionally omitting information from a statement. The district court did not err in denying his request for reduction under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3B1.2(b) or in overruling his objection to an enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3B1.3.”

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