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United States v. Woods

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

April 28, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES THOMAS WOODS, Defendant.

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          HANFYA. INGRAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove (D.E. 420), the Court considers reported violations of supervised release conditions by Defendant James Thomas Woods. This is his third revocation.

         Judge Van Tatenhove entered a judgment against Defendant on November 24, 2014, for one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. D.E. 306 at 1. Defendant was sentenced to 37 months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. Id. at 2-3. Defendant began his first supervised release term on June 28, 2016.

         On November 1, 2016, the United States Probation Office (“USPO”) issued a report that charged Defendant with submitting a urine sample that tested positive for methamphetamine. Defendant admitted using and possessing methamphetamine and fentanyl. After stipulating to the violations, he was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. D.E. 351, 352. Defendant was released again on May 3, 2017.

         On March 20, 2018, the USPO issued a report charging Defendant with again submitting a urine sample that tested positive for methamphetamine. After stipulating to the violations of use and possession of a controlled substance, he was sentenced to nine months of imprisonment, followed by twelve months of supervised release. Defendant was released again on December 27, 2018.

         In January 2019, District Judge Van Tatenhove granted the USPO's request to modify Defendant's release conditions. D.E. 414. The USPO reported that, on January 4, 2019, Defendant submitted a urine specimen that tested positive for Suboxone (buprenorphine). Defendant admitted using Suboxone, and subsequently tested negative. The USPO referred him to weekly outpatient substance abuse counseling. The Court also granted the USPO's request to add a condition requiring eight weeks of weekly drug testing. Id.

         I.

         On March 4, 2019, the USPO issued the Supervised Release Violation Report (“the Report”) that initiated this revocation. According to the Report, on March 4, 2019, Defendant submitted a urine sample that tested positive for buprenorphine, benzodiazepines (alprazolam, a.k.a. Xanax), and methamphetamine. Defendant admitted in writing that he had used all three substances the day before. The Report charges six violations-two violations for each of the three controlled substances that Defendant unlawfully possessed and used in violation of his conditions of release.

         Violations #1, #3, and #5 each charge a violation of Mandatory Condition #2 (forbidding the unlawful possession of a controlled substance) and Mandatory Condition #3 (forbidding the unlawful use of a controlled substance). See D.E. 352 at 3. Based on the use of Suboxone, Xanax, and methamphetamine, respectively, these are Grade C violations.

         Violations #2, #4, and #6 each charge a violation of Mandatory Condition #1, which forbids committing another federal, state or local crime. See D.E. 352 at 3. The Report notes that buprenorphine is a Schedule III controlled substance, alprazolam is a Schedule IV controlled substance, and methamphetamine is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Due to Defendant's prior drug conviction and the Sixth Circuit's decision that use of a controlled substance includes possession, Violations #2, #4, and #6 charge Defendant with conduct that would qualify as Class E Felonies under 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). These are Grade B violations.

         The Court conducted an initial appearance pursuant to Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure on March 6, 2019, and set a final hearing following a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of the right to a preliminary hearing. D.E. 423. At the initial appearance, the United States made an oral motion for interim detention. Defendant did not argue for release. Id. Based on the heavy § 3143(a) defense burden, the Court found that Defendant failed to justify release and remanded Defendant to the custody of the United States Marshal. Id.

         At the final hearing on March 18, 2019, Defendant was afforded all rights due under Rule 32.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3583. D.E. 388. Defendant competently entered a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent stipulation to all six violations. Id. For purposes of Rule 32.1 proceedings, Defendant admitted the factual basis for each violation as described in the Report. Specifically, he admitted using and possessing Suboxone, Xanax, and methamphetamine. The United States thus established all six violations under the standard of section 3583(e). Id.

         II.

         The Court has evaluated the entire record, the Report and accompanying documents, and the sentencing materials from the underlying Judgment in this District. Additionally, the Court has considered all the ...


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