United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
A. INGRAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Court, on referral, considers reported supervised release
violations by Defendant Jeffrey Steven Pratt. See
D.E. 68. District Judge Van Tatenhove imposed a judgment
against Defendant on January 11, 2012, following his guilty
plea to possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone.
D.E. 47 at 1. Defendant was originally sentenced to
fifty-seven months of imprisonment and a three-year term of
supervised release. Id. at 2-3.
February 20, 2015, Defendant began service of his term of
supervision. In March 2017, Defendant's supervised
release was revoked due to his use and possession of a
controlled substance (marijuana). See D.E. 67. At
that time, Defendant was sentenced to nine months of
imprisonment to be followed by a two-year term of supervised
release. Id. at 2-3. Defendant again began service
of his term of supervision in September 2017, and his term is
scheduled to expire in September 2019. Defendant is
supervised through the United States Probation Office
(“USPO”) in Pikeville, Kentucky.
October 2, 2018, the USPO issued a Supervised Release
Violation Report (“the Report”) charging
Defendant with two violations of his release conditions. The
USPO then secured a warrant from Judge Van Tatenhove the
following day. See D.E. 68; D.E. 69.
background for Defendant's present charged violations,
the Report alleges that, on October 1, 2018, Defendant
provided a urine specimen that tested positive via instant
testing device for amphetamine and methamphetamine. Defendant
admitted to his probation officer to ingesting Adipex and
methamphetamine and signed a Positive Urinalysis Admission
Report detailing his use. Notably, Defendant does not have a
prescription for amphetamine.
on this conduct, the Report first alleges that Defendant
violated the condition of his supervised release that states:
“You must refrain from any unlawful use of a controlled
substance. You must submit to one drug test within 15 days of
release from imprisonment and at least two periodic drug
tests thereafter, as determined by the court.” This
conduct would constitute a Grade C violation. See
U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(2).
the Report alleges that Defendant violated the condition of
his supervised release that states: “The defendant
shall not commit another federal, state or local
crime.” Here, the Report states that amphetamine and
methamphetamine are Schedule II controlled substances and
that, “[d]ue to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals'
finding that use equals possession, and with Mr. Pratt's
prior drug conviction, simple possession of amphetamine and
methamphetamine constitutes conduct that would result in a
violation of 21 U.S.C. 844(a), a Class E Felony.” This
conduct would constitute a Grade B violation. See
U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(2).
Court conducted an initial appearance pursuant to Federal
Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1 on February 26, 2019. D.E.
71. 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; Defendant requested release.
Id. Based on the heavy defense burden under 18
U.S.C. § 3143(a), the Court found detention was
final hearing on March 8, 2019, Defendant was afforded all
rights under Rule 32.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3583. D.E. 73.
Defendant waived a formal hearing and stipulated to the
violations set forth in the Report. Id. The Court
found Defendant to be competent to stipulate 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.
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 is,
at worst, a Grade B violation under the Guidelines.
See U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(2).
the final hearing, the government argued that Defendant's
supervised release should be revoked and that he should be
sentenced to thirteen months of incarceration followed by
twelve months of supervised release. Defense counsel, on the
other hand, requested that, if the Court were inclined to
recommend a sentence at the high end of the Guidelines, the
Court recommend no additional term of supervised release be
imposed. Defendant briefly ...