Warrantless Search by Customs Officials that Revealed Child Pornography Upheld, Plus Other Criminal Matter
In US v. Alfaro-Moncada, No. 08-16442, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's child pornography possession conviction, holding that 1) customs officials had statutory authority under 6 U.S.C. section 1581(a) to search the cabin; 2) the suspicionless search of defendant's cabin on a foreign cargo ship, while it was docked at the Antillean Marine on the Miami River, was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment; 3) defendant knew that he was in possession of child pornography; and 4) the 87-month, within the guidelines, sentence in this case was not outside the range of reasonableness.
In US v. Boffil-Rivera, No. 08-16098, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for making a false statement of material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of a government agency, holding that 1) there was sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude that defendant's statement was false; 2) given that defendant denied having anything to do with guns despite having held the gun at issue for pictures and claiming ownership of it, a reasonable juror could have concluded that defendant intentionally lied to agents when they asked whether he had a gun; and 3) because possessing a gun violated the conditions of defendant's release, a reasonable juror could have concluded that defendant's statement was capable of influencing the agency's investigation.