United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
A. Ingram, United States Magistrate Judge.
Court, on referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove,
considers reported supervised release violations by Defendant
Jeffrey Lee Lawson. See D.E. 330 at 2. Judge Van
Tatenhove imposed a judgment against Defendant in October
2014, following a guilty plea to conspiring to distribute
oxycodone and conspiring to manufacture counterfeit
obligations. D.E. 221. Defendant was originally sentenced to
forty months of imprisonment and a three-year term of
supervised release. Id. at 2-3. In October 2015,
Defendant's term of imprisonment was reduced to
thirty-two months. See D.E. 227. Defendant was
released on April 28, 2016, and his term of supervision is
currently scheduled to expire on April 27, 2019.
March 19, 2019, the United States Probation Office
(“USPO”) issued a Supervised Release Violation
Report (“the Report”) charging Defendant with
four violations. The USPO then secured a warrant from Judge
Van Tatenhove the next day. See D.E. 331.
to the Report, on December 21, 2018, U.S. Probation Officer
Scott Greiwe contacted Defendant at his reported residence in
Williamsburg, Kentucky. At the time, Defendant reported
living with his girlfriend, Estella Stanley.
March 6, 2019, Officer Greiwe contacted Defendant's
reported employer, Roger's Group, Inc., to verify
Defendant's employment. According to the human resources
department at Roger's Group, Defendant had been
terminated from employment on February 6, 2019, due to
compatibility issues and for breaking company policy.
March 6, Officer Greiwe contacted Stanley at her residence.
She said Defendant had not resided with her since she asked
him to leave in September 2018. Regarding Officer
Greiwe's home visit on December 21, 2018, Stanley said
that Defendant “broke into” her home and
“staged” his clothes in her closet. Stanley also
informed Officer Greiwe that she had filed for an Emergency
Protective Order and had obtained a warrant after Defendant
threatened to kill her. Officer Greiwe conducted a
walk-through of the home. The men's clothing that had
been in the closet during Officer Greiwe's December home
visit was now gone.
Greiwe then contacted officials with the Whitley County
Sheriff's Office. They confirmed that Defendant had an
active warrant that was issued on January 2, 2019, for
terroristic threatening - third degree, in violation of KRS
§ 508.080. Officer Greiwe was also informed that there
was an active summons for a Temporary Interpersonal
Protective Order issued on January 2, 2019. Neither the
warrant nor the summons had been served on Defendant. Both
were brought to the Whitley County District Court by Stanley.
afternoon of March 6, Defendant sent Officer Greiwe a text
message and reported that he no longer worked at Roger's
Group, but advised he had a new job. Officer Greiwe directed
Defendant to report to the probation office on March 8 to
discuss the possible violations. On that day, Defendant
reported as directed, and he provided a urine specimen that
tested positive for oxycodone and buprenorphine via instant
testing device. When Officer Greiwe asked him about the
results, Defendant said he last used oxycodone “a
couple days ago” from a prescription he had filled in
August 2018. According to a Kentucky All Schedule
Prescription Electronic Inquiry (KASPER), Defendant's
last filled prescription was of eight oxycodone tablets on
August 16, 2018. Defendant denied used buprenorphine.
Defendant's specimen was forwarded to Alere Toxicology
Services for further testing. On March 16, Alere Toxicology
Services returned positive test results for oxycodone and
buprenorphine. Defendant had no prescription for
Defendant's failure to report his termination from his
employment, Defendant told Officer Greiwe that he thought he
was going to get his job back at Roger's Group, so he did
not feel the need to report his termination. Similarly,
concerning the allegations that Defendant had not lived at
his reported residence since September 2018, Defendant
advised that has stayed at that location some since September
2018, but that he has also stayed with other family members.
Defendant's contact with Officer Greiwe at the probation
office on March 8, an officer with the London Police
Department served the active warrant on Defendant and took
him into custody. That case remains pending as Whitley County
District Court case number 19-M-50144.
on these facts, the Report alleges that Defendant violated
four conditions of his supervised release. First, citing
Defendant's urine specimen that tested positive for
buprenorphine, the Report alleges that he violated the
condition forbidding, among other things, use or possession
of any controlled substance except as prescribed by a
physician. This is a Grade C violation.
the Report explains that buprenorphine is a Schedule III
controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
Thus, “Due to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals'
ruling that use is the equivalent of possession, and with the
defendant's prior drug conviction, simple possession of
buprenorphine constitutes conduct that would result in a
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a), Simple Possession of a
Controlled Substance, a Class E Felony.” On these
facts, Violation No. 2 alleges that Defendant violated the
condition that he not not commit another federal, state, or
local crime. This is a Grade B violation.
based on Defendant's failure to report his termination
from Roger's Group on February 6 in a timely manner,
Violation No. 3 alleges that he violated the condition of his
supervised release that states: “The defendant shall
notify the probation officer at least ten days ...