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United States v. Adams

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

November 16, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RODNEY ADAMS, Defendant.

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          Hanly A. Ingram United States Magistrate Judge.

         On referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove, the Court considers reported violations of supervised release by Defendant Rodney Adams. See D.E. 386. Former Chief Judge Coffman entered a judgment against Defendant on February 7, 2002, following his guilty plea to violating 21 U.S.C. § 846, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and distribution of, more than 1, 000 kilograms of marijuana, and to violating 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), conspiracy to commit laundering of monetary instruments. D.E. 355. Defendant was originally sentenced to 210 months of imprisonment and a five-year term of supervised release. Id. On July 25, 2016, Defendant was released from the custody of the Bureau Prisons to begin his term of supervision.

         In November 2017, Defendant's term of supervised release was revoked due to his use of alcohol, failure to follow the instructions of his probation officer, and failure to submit to drug testing. See D.E. 382. At that time, he was sentenced to seven months of imprisonment, with four years of supervised release to follow. D.E. 385 at 2-3. On May 15, 2018, Defendant began his second term of supervised release.

         I.

         On August 6, 2018, the United States Probation Office (“USPO”) issued a Supervised Release Violation Report (“the Report”) charging Defendant with two violations. The USPO then secured a warrant from District Judge Van Tatenhove on August 9, 2018. See D.E. 386; D.E. 387.

         According to the Report, on August 4, 2018, Defendant was arrested by the Somerset (Kentucky) Police Department and charged with: failure to/or improper signal, in violation of KRS § 189.380; careless driving, in violation of KRS § 189.290; and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, 1st offense, in violation of KRS § 189A.010(5A). Defendant was released on bond on August 5, and his arraignment was scheduled for August 27. Based on this conduct, the Report alleges that Defendant violated the condition of his release that states he “must not commit another federal, state or local crime.” This is a Grade C violation. See U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(3).

         The Report also states that Defendant told his probation officer that he had consumed bourbon prior to operating the vehicle, but he believed he was under the legal limit. On that basis, the Report alleges that Defendant violated the condition of his release that states he “must abstain from the use of alcohol.” This is also a Grade C violation. See id.

         II.

         Magistrate Judge Atkins conducted Defendant's initial appearance pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1 on August 22, 2018. D.E. 389. During the hearing, Defendant made a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of his right to a preliminary hearing. Id. At that time, the United States made an oral motion for detention. Id. Based on the heavy defense burden under 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a), the Court found that Defendant failed to carry his release burden and that detention was required. Id.

         At the final hearing on November 13, 2018, Defendant was afforded all rights under Rule 32.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3583. D.E. 399. Defendant waived a formal hearing and stipulated to the violations set forth in the Report. Id. The Court found Defendant competently stipulated to the violations and that the stipulation was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made. Id. The Court also found the stipulation to be consistent with the advice of Defendant's counsel. Id.

         Of course, the Court must find “by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant violated a condition of supervised release.” 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3); see also United States v. Cofield, 233 F.3d 405, 406 (6th Cir. 2000) (“In order to revoke supervised release, the sentencing court must find by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant has violated a condition of his supervised release.”). Defendant's stipulation permits the Court to find that he engaged in conduct that constitutes Grade C violations under the Guidelines. See U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(3).

         Based on Defendant's stipulation, the government agreed to not recommend a sentence outside of the advisory Guidelines range. Instead, the government recommended a sentence of eleven months, which is at the top end of the Guidelines range, to be followed by four years of supervised release. Defense counsel did not oppose the government's request for four years of supervision. However, concerning a term of imprisonment, defense counsel asked for a sentence at the bottom of the Guidelines range.

         III.

         The Court has reviewed the entire record, including the Report and its accompanying documents, and the sentencing materials underlying Defendant's original judgment. The Court has also considered all of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors imported into the 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) analysis. Through that consideration, the Court will recommend that Defendant's supervision be ...


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