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United States v. Parker

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

February 20, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JESSE L. PARKER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH M. HOOD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendant Jesse Parker, through counsel, has moved the Court to suspend the remainder of his term of supervised release. [DE 22]. The United States opposes Parker's motion. [DE 26]. After considering the relevant factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), Parker's motion to suspend or terminate the remainder of his term of supervised release [DE 22] is DENIED.

         I. Procedural and Factual Background

          Previously, Parker was sentenced to a sixty-month term of imprisonment and an eight-year term of supervised release following his release from imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. [DE 20]. Parker claims that he began his term of supervised release on or around September 4, 2014. [DE 22]. As a result, Parker's term of supervised release will not be complete until September 2022.

         Now, Parker asks the Court to suspend the remainder of his term of supervised release. In support of his motion, Parker states that he “has faithfully and diligently acted in full compliance with this Court's sentencing.” [DE 22 at 1, Pg ID 39].

         In order to ensure that the Court was sufficiently advised, the Court allowed the United States to respond and permitted Parker to reply within fourteen days of the response. [DE 25]. The United States responded in opposition. [DE 26]. Parker has not replied and the time to reply has expired. As a result, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. Analysis

         18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) provides:

The court may, after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a)(1), (a)(2)(B), (a)(2)(C), (a)(2)(D), (a)(4), (a)(5) and (a)(6)-
(1) terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the defendant released at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to the modification of probation, if it is satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the defendant released and the interest of justice.

         To grant early termination of supervised release, “a district court must conclude that the early termination of supervised release is warranted both by the individual's conduct and also by the interest of justice.” United States v. Suber, 75 Fed.Appx. 442, 444 (6th Cir. 2003) (citing United States v. Pregent, 190 F.3d 279, 282 (4th Cir. 1999)).

         The first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to consider “the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant.” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1). The United States correctly notes that Parker pleaded guilty to having over two kilograms of cocaine and over $100, 000 in cash that represented proceeds from distribution of controlled substances. Additionally, and more concerning, the Defendant had a prior drug felony conviction. As such, Parker was convicted of serious drug crimes. Furthermore, supervised release is not employed by the Court as a solely punitive measure, but also attempts to rehabilitate defendants and reduce recidivism. As such, early termination of Parker's term of supervised release does not reflect the serious nature of the offense and would also increase the likelihood of recidivism. As a result, the first 3553(a) factor weighs against early termination of Parker's supervised release.

         Second, the Court must consider is the need for the sentence “to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B). Here, Parker has only completed approximately four years and five months of his eight-year term of supervised release. While supervised release is not a strictly punitive measure, supervised release does constitute part of a defendant's total sentence. Ultimately, releasing Parker after completing a little over half of his term of supervised release would minimize the total sentence imposed by the Court in this matter and would fail to deter future criminal conduct. As a result, the second factor weighs against early termination of supervised release.

         Third, the Court must consider the need “to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(C). As has been discussed, Parker pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Drug trafficking activity has affected communities across the United States. Every day, families across the country are negatively impacted by drug dependency and abuse. Additionally, various government institutions and agencies spend immense resources to counter the drug epidemic. Here, Parker has a previous drug felony conviction in addition to the underlying offense in this case. As a result, the court fears that early termination of supervised release in this case may result in recidivism and further drug trafficking ...


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