United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
A. Ingram, Judge
referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove (D.E. 395), the
Court considers reported violations of supervised release
conditions by Defendant Christopher Bentley.
Van Tatenhove entered a judgment against Defendant in
December 2014 following a guilty plea to participating in a
conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 846. D.E. 321. Defendant
received a prison sentence of 46 months, followed by a
three-year term of supervised release. Id. Defendant
began his term of supervised release on December 6, 2017.
September 7, 2918, the United States Probation Office (USPO)
issued the Supervised Release Violation Report (“the
Report”) that initiated these proceedings. The report
charges three violations. According to the Report, on
September 7, 2018, Defendant submitted a urine sample that,
upon instant testing, indicated methamphetamine. Defendant
signed an admission stating that he “wanted to have
some fun and used methamphetamine and hydrocodone with
‘a couple of girls' approximately three days
ago.” Based on Defendant's admission to using
methamphetamine and hydrocodone, Violation #1 charges
Defendant with violating Standard Condition #7, which
prohibits, among other things, using any controlled substance
except as prescribed by a physician. This is a Grade C
#2 charges Defendant with violating the condition that he not
commit another federal, state, or local crime. Noting the
Sixth Circuit's decision that use of a controlled
substance includes possession and Defendant's prior drug
conviction, this violation charges Defendant with conduct
that would be a federal crime, that is, possession of
methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Such
conduct would be a Class E felony pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 844(a), Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance.
This is a Grade B violation.
Violation #3 also charges Defendant with violating the
condition that he not commit another federal, state, or local
crime. Noting the Sixth Circuit's decision that use of a
controlled substance includes possession and Defendant's
prior drug conviction, this violation charges Defendant with
conduct that would be a federal crime, that is, possession of
hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Such conduct
would be a Class E felony pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §
844(a), Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance. This is
a Grade B violation.
Court conducted an initial appearance pursuant to Rule 32.1
on October 25, 2018, and set a final hearing following a
knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of the right to a
preliminary hearing. D.E. 400. The United States moved for
interim detention; Defendant did not argue for release.
Id. Based on the heavy defense burden under 18
U.S.C. § 3143(a), the undersigned remanded Defendant to
the custody of the United States Marshal. Id.
final hearing on November 5, 2018, Defendant was afforded all
rights due under Rule 32.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3583. D.E.
401. Defendant competently entered a knowing, voluntary, and
intelligent stipulation to all three violations. Id.
For purposes of Rule 32.1 proceedings, Defendant admitted the
factual basis for the violations as described in the Report.
In the Supervised Release context, the Sixth Circuit treats
controlled substance use as equivalent to possession. See
United States v. Crace, 207 F.3d 833, 836 (6th Cir.
2000). The United States thus established Violations #1, #2,
and #3 under the standard of § 3583(e).
Court has evaluated the entire record, including the Report
and accompanying documents, and the sentencing materials from
the underlying Judgment. Additionally, the Court has
considered all of the § 3553 factors imported into the
§ 3583(e) analysis.
§ 3583(e)(3), a defendant's maximum penalty for a
supervised release violation hinges on the gravity of the
underlying offense of conviction. Defendant pleaded guilty to
participating in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine,
a Class C felony. See 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); 846. For a Class C felony, the maximum
revocation sentence provided under § 3583 is two years
of imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3).
Policy Statements in Chapter 7 of the Sentencing Guidelines
provide advisory imprisonment ranges for revocation premised
on criminal history (at the time of original sentencing) and
the “grade” of the violation proven. See
United States v. Perez-Arellano, 212 Fed.Appx. 436,
438-39 (6th Cir. 2007). Under § 7B1.1, Defendant's
admitted conduct would qualify as a Grade C violation with
respect to Violation #1 and Grade B violations with respect
to Violations #2 and #3. Given Defendant's criminal
history category of I (the category at the time of the
conviction) and a Grade B violation,  Defendant's range, under
the Revocation Table of Chapter 7, is four to ten months.
may also re-impose supervised release, following revocation,
for a maximum period that usually subtracts any term of
incarceration imposed due to the violation. See 18
U.S.C. § 3583(b), (h). The post-revocation cap depends
on the “term of supervised release authorized by
statute for the offense that resulted in the original term of
supervised release.” See 18 U.S.C. §
3583(h). Given the nature of Defendant's ...