United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
Gregory F. Van Tatenhove United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the Recommended Disposition [R.
402] filed by United States Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram.
The Defendant is charged with violating three conditions of
her supervised release: (1) unlawful use of a controlled
substance; (2) not commit another federal, state, or local
crime; and (3) not communicate or interact with someone you
know is engaged in criminal activity. Id. at 2.
Judgment was originally entered against the Defendant on
February 12, 2015, after Ms. Belcher pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to manufacture a mixture or substance containing a
detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 846. Id. at 1.
She was originally sentenced to forty-eight months of
imprisonment followed by a three-year term of supervised
release. Id. Ms. Belcher began her term of
supervised release on February 8, 2017. Id.
Belcher violated her supervised release the first time when
she admitted to using Suboxone after her urine tested
positive for buprenorphine. Id. at 2. This violation
resulted in a requirement that she participate in mental
health and substance abuse treatment. Id.
Belcher then had her supervised release revoked for:
“failure to participate in substance abuse treatment;
associating with a convicted felon without permission;
associating with a convicted felon without permission;
failure to report to the Probation Office as directed; use of
a controlled substance; and commission of a crime.”
Id. For these violations, she was sentenced to
twelve months and one day of imprisonment followed by
three-years of supervised release. Id. Ms. Belcher
was released on February 21, 2019, and began her second term
of supervised release. Id.
February 27, 2019, Ms. Belcher was charged with three
violations. Id. The first two violations have the
same factual basis. Id.
the Report complains that Ms. Belcher unlawfully used a
controlled substance. Id. at 2. As the basis for
this violation, the Report alleges that the Defendant
provided a urine sample that tested positive for
methamphetamine. Id. Ms. Belcher confessed to her
probation officer that she used methamphetamine. Id.
This conduct would constitute a Grade B violation.
the Report alleges that Ms. Belcher's positive drug test
and confession have triggered a violation of his agreement
“not [to] commit another federal, state or local
crime.” Id. Because of Ms. Belcher's prior
drug conviction, use is the same as possession. Therefore,
her confession and positive drug test would be a Class E
Felony. Id. This conduct constitutes a Grade B
the Report charges her with violating the condition that: she
“not communicate or interact with someone you know is
engaged in criminal activity. If you know someone has been
convicted of a felony, you must not knowingly communicate or
interact with that person without first getting permission of
the probation officer.” Ms. Belcher admitted to doing
methamphetamine with Brian Smith, a convicted felon.
Id. She never received permission from her probation
officer to see him. Id. And Smith is the same person
she was with for her previous violations. Id. This
is a Grade C violation.
final revocation hearing, held on April 15, 2019, Belcher
competently entered a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent
stipulation to all violations that had been charged by the
USPO in the Supervised Release Violation Report. [R. 397.] On
April 30, 2019, Magistrate Judge Ingram issued a Recommended
Disposition which recommended revocation of Belcher's
supervised release and a term of fourteen months of
imprisonment with a three-year term of supervised release.
[R. 402 at 8.]
Ingram appropriately considered the 18 U.S.C. § 3553
factors in coming to his recommended sentence. Id.
at 7. Ms. Belcher has violated the terms of her supervised
release three times. Id. at 6. What is more, she has
violated quickly after release. Id. But her candor
with probation and desire to be better for her daughter
increases the likelihood of rehabilitation. Id. Ms.
Belcher's multiple violations means that the Court must
impose a lengthy term of incarceration to deter criminal
conduct and protect the public from future crimes.
Belcher's use of drugs is linked closely with the
circumstances of his underlying offense. Id. Her
continued association with individuals who use of illegal
substances puts her at risk of making poor choices and
additional criminal conduct. Id. She must remove
herself from that life and comply with her conditions of
release. Id. at 8. Hopefully, the incentive of early
termination of her supervised release for complete compliance
will be a strong incentive. Id.
Belcher's violation is a serious breach of the
Court's trust. Id. The Defendant has violated
the terms of her release on multiple occasions. Id.
to Rule 59(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the
Recommended Disposition further advises the parties that
objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days of
service. [Id. at 9.] See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). No. objections have been filed, and Defendant
Belcher submitted a waiver of allocution. [R. 403.]
Generally, this Court must make a de novo
determination of those portions of the Recommended
Disposition to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(c). When no objections are made, as in this case,
this Court is not required to “review . . . a
magistrate's factual or legal conclusions, under a de
novo or any other standard.” See Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 151 (1985). Parties who fail to
object to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation
are also barred from appealing a district court's order
adopting that report and recommendation. United States v.
Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981). Nevertheless,
this Court has examined the record and agrees with Magistrate
Judge Ingram's Recommended Disposition. Accordingly, and
the Court being sufficiently advised, it is hereby
ORDERED as follows:
Recommended Disposition [R. 402] as to
Defendant Lorena Belcher is ADOPTED as ...