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United States v. Bishop

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

May 9, 2019

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

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          HANLY A. INGRAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On referral from District Judge Van Tatenhove (D.E. 526), the Court considers reported violations of supervised release conditions by Defendant Rodney Bishop. This is his fourth revocation.

         I.

         Judge Van Tatenhove entered a judgment against Defendant on November 17, 2010, for conspiracy to manufacture a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, and possession of pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine. D.E. 342. Defendant was sentenced to seventy months of imprisonment on each count to run concurrently, followed by three years of supervised release on each count to run concurrently. Id. Defendant began his initial term of supervised release on March 6, 2014.

         In November 2014, Defendant's release was revoked for failing to submit monthly reports to the United States Probation Office (“USPO”), failing to notify the USPO of a change in residence and employment, failing to pay restitution, using methamphetamine, and committing another federal, state, or local crime based on his drug use. Defendant stipulated to the violations and was sentenced to fourteen months of imprisonment plus three years of supervised release. D.E. 464, 466, 467. Defendant began his second term of supervised release on September 4, 2015.

         Defendant was arrested in November 2015 and revoked again in April 2016 for using methamphetamine and committing another federal, state, or local crime based on his drug use. Defendant stipulated to both violations and was sentenced to seventeen months of imprisonment and supervised release to expire on September 3, 2018. D.E. 486, 489, 490. Two special conditions were added. One required him to immediately enroll in, and complete, a long-term inpatient substance abuse treatment program, and the other set a status conference before the Court to assess Defendant's progress and evaluate early termination of his term of supervised release. D.E. 490. Defendant was released on January 27, 2017, to begin service of his third term of supervised release.

         On February 7, 2017, Defendant enrolled in a ninety-day inpatient treatment program, and successfully completed it on May 7, 2017. The Court was notified of his successful completion and scheduled a status conference for July 11, 2017. D.E. 495. However, on that day, the USPO notified the Court of new violations. Defendant's release was revoked a third time in August 2017 for using methamphetamine, committing the crime of methamphetamine possession, failing to truthfully answer questions by the probation officer, and failure to submit to drug testing. He was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release. D.E. 504, 507, 508. A condition was added that a status conference be held after six months of successful supervised release to discuss the possibility of early termination. D.E. 508 at 5.

         Defendant was most recently released from prison on April 5, 2019. He reported to the Probation Office that same day and submitted a urine specimen that tested positive for methamphetamine.

         II.

         On April 10, 2019, the USPO issued a Supervised Release Violation Report (“the Report”) that initiated this revocation. The Report charges three violations. According to the Report:

On April 9, 2019, the defendant reported to the U.S. Probation Office in London, following his release from the Bureau of Prisons on April 5, 2019. This Officer requested a urine specimen from the defendant for drug testing purposes. While the defendant was attempting to produce the urine specimen, he positioned himself where this Officer could not properly observe the specimen, and he was instructed to stand directly in front of the toilet. The defendant failed to comply, and this Officer instructed him a second time to stand in front of the toilet, which he again failed to do. This Officer subsequently observed the defendant attempting to hide an object in his underwear, and he was directed to remove the object from his person. The defendant eventually removed from his underwear a small plastic bottle, with a temperature strip, containing what appeared to be urine. The defendant indicated he smoked methamphetamine on the night of April 5, 2019, and he tampered with the drug test because he thought he may still be positive. The defendant advised he could not produce a urine specimen at that time. The defendant subsequently initialed and signed a Positive Urinalysis Admission Report admitting to the use of methamphetamine on April 5, 2019. He eventually produced a urine specimen which tested positive for the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine via instant testing device.

         The Report charges, in Violation #1, a violation of the condition requiring that Defendant refrain from any unlawful use of a controlled substance. Based on the above narrative, this violation is based on Defendant's admitted use of methamphetamine. This is a Grade C violation.

         Violation #2 charges a violation of the conditions requiring that Defendant not commit another federal, state, or local crime and that he not unlawfully possess a controlled substance. Violation #2 alleges that, due to Defendant's prior drug conviction and with the Sixth Circuit's ruling that use is the equivalent of possession, “simple possession of methamphetamine constitutes conduct in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a), a Class E Felony.” This is a Grade B violation. Violation #3 charges a violation of the condition requiring that Defendant not obstruct or attempt to obstruct or ...


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