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United States v. Houle

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

November 19, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTIN RAY HOULE, Defendant.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

KEITH STRONG, Magistrate Judge.

I. Synopsis

Mr. Houle was accused of violating his conditions of supervised release by failing to participate in required substance abuse testing, failing to report to his residence as instructed, and failing to report to the Butte Pre-Release Center as instructed. He admitted to the violations. Mr. Houle's supervised release should be revoked. He should be placed in custody for ten months with no supervised release to follow.

II. Status

Mr. Houle pleaded guilty to Distribution of Cocaine in 2010. Doc. 42. He was sentenced to incarceration for 17 months, with three years of supervised release to follow. Doc. 56. Mr. Houle's supervised release was revoked in September 2011 because he violated the conditions by consuming alcohol and failing to maintain employment. Docs. 68, 77. Mr. Houle was ordered into custody for ten months, with 26 months supervised release to follow and with the first 180 days of supervised release to be spent in a residential release center. Doc. 77. Mr. Houle was released from the residential release center on January 5, 2013. Doc. 92. In March 2014, Mr. Houle's supervised release was revoked after he failed to participate in required substance abuse testing and failed to report to his probation officer as directed. Docs. 99-100. Mr. Houle was ordered into custody for four months, with 22 months of supervised release to follow. Docs. 99-100. Mr. Houle's current period of supervised release commenced on May 16, 2014. Doc. 103.

Petition

The United States Probation Office filed a petition on September 13, 2014, asking the Court to revoke Mr. Houle's supervised release. In the petition, the Probation Office accused Mr. Houle of violating Special Condition 1 of his supervised release by failing to report for random urinalysis testing on five dates in July 2014. The petition alleged that Mr. Houle violated Special Conditions 2 and 3 by failing to report to his probation officer at Mr. Houle's residence on July 10, 2014, and failing to report to the Butte Pre-Release Center on July 25, 2014. Based on the petition, United States District Judge Brian Morris issued a warrant for Mr. Houle's arrest. Doc. 103.

Initial appearance

Mr. Houle appeared before the undersigned on October 28, 2014, in Great Falls, Montana. Federal Defender R. Henry Branom Jr. accompanied him at the initial appearance. Assistant United States Jessica Betley represented the United States.

Mr. Houle said he had read the petition and understood the allegations. He did not contest the alleged violations. Mr. Houle waived the preliminary hearing, and the parties were ready to proceed with the revocation hearing. Both parties consented to proceeding before the undersigned.

Revocation hearing

Mr. Houle appeared at the revocation hearing with Mr. Branom. Ms. Betley appeared on behalf of the United States.

Mr. Houle admitted that he violated his supervised release special conditions 1, 2, and 3. The violations warrant revocation of Mr. Houle's supervised release.

Mr. Houle's violation grade is Grade C, his criminal history category is II, and his underlying offense is a Class C felony. He could be incarcerated for up to 24 months. He could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 22 months, less any custodial time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for four to ten ...


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