United States v. Stephayne McClure-Potts

PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 17-2987 _____________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. STEPHAYNE MCCLURE-POTTS, Appellant ______________ APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (D.C. Civ. Action No. 1:16-cr-0303) District Judge: Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo _____________ Argued September 26, 2018 ______________ Before: AMBRO, CHAGARES, and GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judges. (Opinion Filed: November 8, 2018) ______________ OPINION ______________ Heidi R. Freese Ronald A. Krauss Frederick W. Ulrich [Argued] Office of the Federal Public Defender 100 Chestnut Street, Suite 306 Harrisburg, PA 17101 Counsel for Appellant Daryl F. Bloom David J. Freed Stephen R. Cerutti II [Argued] Office of the United States Attorney Ronald Reagan Federal Building, Suite 220 228 Walnut Street Harrisburg, PA 17108 Counsel for Appellee GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judge. Defendant Stephayne McClure-Potts appeals a five- month sentence rendered after pleading guilty to one count of Social Security Fraud, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(6), and one count of Harboring an Illegal Alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and (a)(2). For the following reasons, we will affirm. 2 I. FACTS This case arises out of the personal relationship between defendant Stephayne McClure-Potts and Artur Samarin, a young man who entered into the United States without inspection from the Ukraine and ultimately settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In August of 2015, McClure-Potts contacted local police to report “Homeland Security issues” with Samarin, whom she claimed she and her husband were in the process of trying to adopt despite his being nineteen years of age at the time. PSR ¶ 5. She claimed that Samarin had recently been “speaking of Hitler against the Jews” and asserted that he may have stolen a rifle from his school. Id. McClure-Potts would go on to provide a birth certificate for Samarin indicating a birth year of 1992, as well as expired immigration visas and an application to change the nature of Samarin’s visa. Police investigated the reports and discovered that McClure-Potts had twice previously filed runaway reports regarding a minor son—Asher Potts—who supposedly was born on September 3, 1997. They also discovered that Samarin was posing as a minor named Asher Potts and attending John Harris High School in Harrisburg. The school provided a number of documents pertaining to Samarin, including a sworn statement from McClure-Potts dating from 2012 claiming that Samarin was born on September 3, 1997, as well as applications for free/reduced lunch and health benefits. In an interview after the above discoveries, McClure- Potts explained that Samarin had come to the United States in 2012 via an exchange program and befriended her and her husband after he was assaulted by a group of “Russian boys.” PSR ¶ 9. She also claimed that, as they assisted Samarin in 3 addressing his immigration issues at the time, he claimed to be only fourteen years old. She did provide a passport for Samarin indicating his birth year was 1992. In an interview with authorities, Samarin explained that he had gotten to ...

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