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United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America Plaintiff - Appellee v. Robert E. SANFORD Defendant - Appellant

No. 18-2983

Decided: October 04, 2019

Before GRUENDER, STRAS, and KOBES, Circuit Judges. Susan T. Lehr, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, for Plaintiff - Appellee Robert E. Sanford, Pro Se


Robert Sanford pleaded guilty to bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), and received a within-Guidelines-range sentence of 151 months in prison. Critical to the calculation of his sentence was the district court’s 1 determination that he is a career offender based on two prior Nebraska robbery convictions. See U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a)–(b). In an Anders brief, Sanford’s counsel requests permission to withdraw and specifically identifies the career-offender classification and the substantive reasonableness of Sanford’s sentence as issues for us to consider on appeal. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967).

We conclude that the district court did not plainly err in its determination that Sanford is a career offender. See United States v. Harper, 869 F.3d 624, 626–27 (8th Cir. 2017) (holding that federal “bank robbery by intimidation ․ is a crime of violence”); State v. Welchel, 207 Neb. 337, 299 N.W.2d 155, 159 (1980) (explaining that an essential element of Nebraska robbery is the use of force, violence, or intimidation and that the degree of force is immaterial if it is sufficient to overcome resistance); see also United States v. Robinson, 826 F.3d 1044, 1045 (8th Cir. 2016) (discussing the standard of review). Nor is Sanford’s sentence substantively unreasonable. See United States v. Callaway, 762 F.3d 754, 760 (8th Cir. 2014) (stating that a within-Guidelines-range sentence is presumptively reasonable). The record establishes that the court sufficiently considered the statutory sentencing factors, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), and did not rely on an improper factor or commit a clear error of judgment. See United States v. Wohlman, 651 F.3d 878, 887 (8th Cir. 2011).

We have also independently reviewed the record under Penson v. Ohio, 488 U.S. 75, 109 S.Ct. 346, 102 L.Ed.2d 300 (1988), and conclude that there are no non-frivolous issues for appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment and grant counsel permission to withdraw.


1.   The Honorable Robert F. Rossiter, United States District Judge for the District of Nebraska.


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Docket No: No. 18-2983

Decided: October 04, 2019

Court: United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

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