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United States v. Morrison

United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division

April 10, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHANCI LINN MORRISON, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

          John Johnston United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Synopsis

         The United States accused Ms. Morrison of violating her conditions of supervised release by 1) failing to maintain employment without providing notice to her probation officer, 2) failing to truthfully answer questions asked by her probation officer, 3) interacting with someone known to be engaged in criminal activity, 4) failing to report for substance abuse testing from September, 2017, to November, 2017, 5) failing to report for substance abuse treatment, 6) failing to report for substance abuse testing on January 4, 2018, 7) failing to follow the instructions of her probation officer, 8) failing to truthfully answer questions asked by her probation officer, 9) failing to report for substance abuse testing on January 10, 2018, 10) possessing a controlled substance, 11) using a controlled substance, 12) failing to truthfully answer questions asked by her probation officer, and 13) failing to participate in substance abuse testing on January 12, 2018. Ms. Morrison admitted to the allegations. Her supervised release should be revoked. She should be sentenced to six months of custody, with forty-seven months of supervised release to follow. As added conditions of her release, Ms. Morrison shall complete the Passages Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program, and shall not possess, ingest, or inhale any toxic substances, including but not limited to, synthetic marijuana, kratom and/or synthetic stimulants such as bath salts and spice.

         II. Status

         Ms. Morrison pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance in July 2009. United States District Judge for the District of Wyoming Alan Johnson sentenced her to 120 months in custody followed by sixty months of supervised release. She began her current term of supervised release on January 18, 2013.

         Jurisdiction over this case was transferred to the District of Montana in September 2013. (Doc. 1). The United States Probation Office submitted a Petition/Order Setting Conditions of Release with Consent of Offender in September 2014 modifying the terms of Ms. Morrison's supervised release to include increased drug and alcohol testing and drug or mental health treatment because she consumed alcohol. (Doc. 5). Ms. Morrison completed a twelve week outpatient chemical dependency program following the modification. (Doc. 6).

         On November 30, 2016, the United States Probation Office filed a petition asking the Court to revoke Ms. Morrison's supervised release for her use of methamphetamine and committing another crime. (Id.) Ms. Morrison's supervised release was revoked, and she was sentenced to seven months custody with fifty-three months of supervised release to follow. (Doc. 18). Ms. Morrison began her current term of supervised release on

         Petition

          On December 28, 2017, the United States Probation Office filed a petition asking the Court to revoke Ms. Morrison's supervised release. The petition alleged that on August 3, 2017, Ms. Morrison resigned from her employment without giving prior notice to her probation officer. The petition also alleged that Ms. Morrison was untruthful to her probation officer in lying about her contact with someone she knew was engaged in criminal activity. Ms. Morrison discovered she was pregnant following an intimate relationship with a convicted federal felon, and falsely denied further association with the felon to her probation officer. The petition further alleged that Ms. Morrison failed to report for substance abuse testing on September 26, 2017, October 23, 2017, and November 24, 2017. Finally, the petition alleged that on November 15, 2017, Ms. Morrison failed to report for her scheduled substance abuse treatment. (Doc. 21). Based on the petition, United States District Court Judge Charles Lovell issued a warrant for her arrest. (Doc. 22). Ms. Morrison was arrested on January 12, 2018.

         Amended petition

         On January 17, 2018, the United States Probation Office filed an amended petition addressing further alleged violations. The amended petition alleged that on January 4, 2018, Ms. Morrison failed to report for substance abuse testing. Also, it alleged that on January 10, 2018, Ms. Morrison called her probation officer asking to be excused from a scheduled drug test in Butte, Montana, stating she was in Great Falls, Montana, because her uncle was in the hospital for organ failure. The officer instructed her to report to the Great Falls probation office for testing, but Ms. Morrison indicated that she was driving to Butte to provide a drug test, and refused to return to Great Falls when instructed to. On January 12, Ms. Morrison allegedly told her probation officer that she did not report for testing because she had used methamphetamine the previous day. The petition also alleged that on January 12, 2018, Ms. Morrison reported for drug testing and tested negative. She was subsequently arrested on the warrant previously issued, and after searching her person, the officer found a device typically used to substitute urine to adulterate drug test results. Ms. Morrison denied having the device for that purpose, but a second urinalysis test was positive for methamphetamine. Ms. Morrison then admitted to ingesting methamphetamine on January 9, 2018.

         Initial appearance

          Ms. Morrison appeared before the undersigned for her initial appearance on January 17, 2018, in Great Falls, Montana. Federal Defender Evangelo Arvanetes accompanied her. Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Starnes represented the United States.

         Ms. Morrison said she had read the petition and understood the allegations. She waived the preliminary hearing, and the parties consented to proceed with the revocation hearing before the undersigned. Mr. Arvanetes requested time to prepare for a revocation ...


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