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United States v. Caplette

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

April 3, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANKLIN TROY CAPLETTE, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

          John Johnston, Judge

         I. Synopsis

         The United States accused Mr. Caplette of violating his conditions of supervised release by 1) possessing and using a controlled substance on March 13, 2018, 2) interacting with someone Mr. Caplette knew was engaged in criminal activity, 3) failing to report for substance abuse treatment, and 4) possessing a controlled substance on March 16, 2018. Mr. Caplette admitted to the first three violations, but denied the fourth. His supervised release should be revoked, and he should be sentenced to five months custody, with thirty-eight months of supervised release to follow. As a condition of his supervised release, Mr. Caplette should spend the first two months of his supervised release at a treatment facility designated by the United States Probation Office.

         II. Status

         On February 19, 2013, Mr. Caplette pleaded guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. (Doc. 18). On June 10, 2013, United States Chief District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced him to a term sixty-two months custody with four years of supervised release to follow. (Doc. 25). Mr. Caplette began his term of supervised release on October 3, 2016.

         On July 13, 2017, the United States Probation Office filed a Petition for Warrant for Offender Under Supervision, accusing Mr. Caplette of violating the conditions of his supervised release by failing to submit monthly reports, maintaining contact with individuals involved in criminal activity, failing to reside at his listed address, using alcohol, being charged with Partner Family Member Assault, failing to report police contact, failing to report being evicted, failing to reside at his instructed location, and absconding. (Doc. 38). Mr. Caplette was sentenced to five months custody, followed by forty-three months of supervised release. (Doc. 48). Mr. Caplette began his current term of supervised release on February 12, 2018.

         Petition

         On March 20, 2018, the United States Probation Office filed a Petition for Warrant for Offender Under Supervision, accusing Mr. Caplette of violating the conditions of his supervised release. The petition alleged that Mr. Caplette admitted on March 13, 2018, to using methamphetamine. Also, it alleged that on March 16, 2018, Mr. Caplette was found sleeping on the couch of two known drug traffickers. The petition further alleged that Mr. Caplette failed to report for his chemical dependency treatment session on March 15, 2018, and that he had not reported to any of his group sessions. Finally, the petition alleged that on March 16, 2015, the Tri Agency Drug Task Force found methamphetamine in Mr. Caplette's coat. He was initially charged with felony Possession of a Dangerous Drug, by the charges were dismissed after a female claimed it as hers. (Doc. 50). Based on the petition, Judge Morris issued a warrant for Mr. Caplette's arrest. (Doc. 51).

         Initial appearance

         Mr. Caplette appeared before the undersigned for an initial appearance on March 29, 2018, in Great Falls, Montana. Federal Defender Evangelo Arvanetes accompanied him at the initial appearance. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Weldon represented the United States.

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

         Revocation hearing

         Mr. Caplette admitted to the first three violations, but denied the fourth. Additionally, with respect to the third violation, Mr. Caplette denied missing his group sessions, but admitted to missing the one session on March 15, 2018. The United States did not put on evidence as to the fourth violation or to contradict Mr. Caplette's denial with respect to the third violation. Therefore, the Court finds that the United States has met its burden of proof as to the first, second, and third violations as admitted. The admitted violations are serious and warrant revocation of his supervised release.

         Mr. Caplette's violation grade is Grade B, his criminal history category is III, and his underlying offense is a Class B Felony. He could be incarcerated for up to thirty-six months. He could be ordered to remain supervised release for forty-three months, less any custody time imposed. The ...


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