Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, April 03, 2015

Dimitrovski: One-time event can involve ongoing, sophistidcated operation

In U.S. v. Dimitrovski, No. 14-12417 (April 2, 1015), the Court affirmed the imposition of a two-level enhancement under USSG § 2B1.1(b)(14)(B), which applies “if the offense involved an organized scheme to steal or to receive . . . goods or chattels that are part of a cargo shipment.” Dimitrovski argued that the enhancement should not apply because it was intended for an ongoing, sophisticated operation analogous to a “chop shop,” not to a one-time event where a defendant attempts to resell stolen items. Rejecting the argument, the Court found an “organized, ongoing, and sophisticated operation. The defendant purchased a stolen cargo, loaded it onto one of his trailers, and in one day’s time had it shipped to Miami. He was a “savvy” businessman in negotiating the price over several days, and wore latex gloves to conceal his activities. Dimitrovski told the informant that he could bring more loads in the future. “An offense may involve an ongoing, sophisticated operation even if it is committed only once.”