In United States v. Suarez, No. 16-16946 (Tjoflat, William Pryor, Anderson) (per curiam), the Court upheld the defendant's alien smuggling convictions and sentence.
As to the conviction, the defendant argued that coast guard officials violated his Fourth Amendment rights by searching the GPS device on his boat. In rejecting that argument, the Court relied heavily on the terms of a consent form that he signed, which authorized a complete search of the boat for any law enforcement purpose. That consent, the Court reasoned, included searching the storage compartment of the boat where the GPS was located and powering up the GPS once it was found.
As to the sentence, the Court rejected the defendant's challenge to the obstruction of justice enhancement under U.S.S.G 3C1.1. First, the Court rejected the defendant's argument that the court violated his due process rights by imposing the enhancement sua sponte, because a witness's perjured testimony at trial, coupled with the existence of the Guideline itself, put him on notice of a potential enhancement. The Court also found that the court did not refuse to hear from defense counsel on the enhancement; counsel simply failed to argue the point.
The Court then found no clear error in application of the enhancement, because the defendant was aware of the witnesses' potential perjurious testimony in advance and thus suborned perjury. That finding was not clearly erroneous because, even though the government did not seek the enhancement, it was based on evidence adduced at trial.