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United States v. Sunchild

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

February 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILFORD HARLAN SUNCHILD, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

          John Johnston, United State Magistrate Judge.

         I. Synopsis

         The United States accused Wilford Harlan Sunchild (“Mr. Sunchild”) of violating his conditions of supervised release by (1) using a controlled substance (marijuana), (2) failing to report for drug testing, (3) being terminated from his employment and changing his residence without informing his probation officer, (4) using a controlled substance (methamphetamine), (5) using a controlled substance (marijuana), (6) failing to follow the instructions of his probation officer, and (7) using a controlled substance (marijuana and methamphetamine). Mr. Sunchild admitted to the violations. His supervised release should be revoked. He should be sentenced to five months in custody, with nineteen months of supervised release to follow.

         II. Status

         On July 24, 2014, United States District Judge Brian Morris sentenced Mr. Sunchild to 366 days in custody, with twenty-four months of supervised release to follow, after a he pleaded guilty to Conversion, Embezzlement from Indian Tribal Organizations, and Theft or Embezzlement in Connection with Healthcare. (Doc. 54). He began his current term of supervised release on July 10, 2015.

         On August 15, 2016, the United States Probation Office filed a Report on Offender Under Supervision, informing the Court that Mr. Sunchild had used methamphetamine and failed to pay restitution. (Doc. 73). Mr. Sunchild was allowed to remain on supervised release.

         On February 28, 2017, the United States Probation Office filed a Request for Summons for Modifying the Conditions and term of Supervision, informing the Court that Mr. Sunchild had failed to submit monthly reports, failed to submit pay stubs and a monthly net worth statement, was in a casino, failed to file taxes, used marijuana, and failed to pay restitution. (Doc. 74). The Court agreed to extend Mr. Sunchild's supervised release another twelve months, and Mr. Sunchild was allowed to remain on supervised release. (Doc. 77).

         On December 15, 2017, a non-compliance hearing was held with Mr. Sunchild. At that time, Mr. Sunchild admitted to using methamphetamine and marijuana, and that he had been terminated from his employment. Mr. Sunchild was instructed by his probation officer to obtain his driver's license by the end of December, 2017, to make substantial payments toward restitution, and to attend mental health and substance abuse treatment.

         Petition

         On January 29, 2018, the Probation Office filed a Petition for Warrant for Offender Under Supervision alleging that Mr. Sunchild violated the terms of his supervised release. The petition alleged that on April 6, 2017, Mr. Sunchild provided a urine sample positive for marijuana use. It also alleged that Mr. Sunchild failed to report for a drug test on May 16, 2017. Further, the petition alleged Mr. Sunchild failed to inform his probation officer of being terminated from his employment and of a change in residence. The petition also alleged Mr. Sunchild provided a urine sample positive for methamphetamine use on September 29, 2017. The petition also alleged Mr. Sunchild provided a urine sample positive for marijuana use on November 29, 2017. It also alleged that Mr. Sunchild has not followed the probation officer's instructions to get a driver's license as of the time of the petition. Finally, the petition alleged Mr. Sunchild provided a urine sample positive for methamphetamine and marijuana use on January 22, 2018. (Doc. 95). United States District Judge Brian Morris issued a warrant for his arrest based on the allegations in the Petition. (Doc. 96).

         Initial appearance

         Mr. Sunchild appeared before the undersigned on January 24, 2018, in Great Falls, Montana. Federal Defender David Ness accompanied him. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Weldon represented the United States.

         Mr. Sunchild said he had read the petition and understood the allegations. He waived the preliminary hearing, and the parties consented to proceed immediately with the revocation hearing before the undersigned.

         Revocation ...


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