Efraim Diveroli’s story is so outlandish that it has inspired an article in Rolling Stone, a book, and a forthcoming comedy film. See Guy Lawson, How Two Stoner Kids from Miami Beach Became Big-Time Arms Dealers—Until the Pentagon Turned on Them, Rolling Stone, Mar. 31, 2011, at 52; Guy Lawson, Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History (2015); Borys Kit, Jonah Hill to Star in Crime Comedy ‘Arms and the Dudes,’ The Hollywood Reporter (Dec. 3, 2014, 4:56 PM), http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jonah-hill-star-crime-comedy-753760. By age 21, Diveroli started his own company, became an international arms dealer, and won a $298 million contract with the United States Army to provide ammunition to Afghanistan. But his meteoric rise would not last. The contract prohibited Diveroli’s company, AEY, from acquiring ammunition from Chinese manufacturers. When Diveroli learned that his primary supplier obtained its ammunition from China, he and his cohorts concealed the origin of the ammunition and falsely attested that it was from Albania. A grand jury indicted Diveroli, AEY, and his coconspirators on 85 counts of major fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud. After Diveroli’s attorney advised his client about the charges and estimated that he faced a sentence of 168 to 210 months if convicted, Diveroli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for which the district court sentenced him to 48 months of imprisonment.
Diveroli moved to vacate his sentence, 28 U.S.C. § 2255, on the ground that his attorney miscalculated his potential sentencing exposure, which Diveroli argues was only 70 to 87 months. Diveroli argues that he would have proceeded to trial but for his counsel’s error. The district court denied his motion without an evidentiary hearing. Because the record establishes that Diveroli faced overwhelming evidence of guilt and had no viable defenses, we affirm.
2. If you are interested in the "rarely charged" crime of misprision of a felony, there is a lot to be said about it here (with a lengthy concurrence by Judge Martin). The background:
The misprision charge brought against Brantley stems from tragic events that occurred on June 29, 2010. Brantley was pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Brantley’s boyfriend, convicted felon Dontae Morris, was a passenger in her car. Upon questioning by the police, he emerged from the car and shot and killed two officers. He then fled on foot as Brantley sped away. Within minutes, Brantley spoke with Morris on a cell phone, and thereafter hid the car and exchanged texts with Morris. The traffic stop itself -- including the shootings -- was recorded by the dashboard video camera in a police car. The video was played for the jury.
At trial, the jury ultimately found that Brantley knew about a federal felony (her convicted-felon boyfriend’s possession of the firearm which he used to shoot the officers), did not report that crime to the authorities, and, in the aftermath of the murders, took affirmative steps to conceal Morris’s felony from the authorities.
3. Or if you are really desperate, you can check out my op-ed in the Jamaican Gleaner about the juror misconduct in Buju Banton's case. The conclusion:
US District Judge James S. Moody, rightfully outraged that a juror would disregard his instructions, found Wright guilty of criminal contempt and even ordered her to write a report about the cost of Buju's expensive six-day trial.
Although Wright will never get to fulfil her dream of being a professional juror, she will get to move on with her life. She won't have to do one day in jail. Buju, on the other hand, isn't set to be released from federal prison until 2019. Our system failed him.