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United States v. Steiner

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

April 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER ALLAN STEINER, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO MODIFY DEFENDANT'S CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE

          JOHN JOHNSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Synopsis

         Mr. Steiner was accused of violating his conditions of supervised release by 1) possessing a controlled substance, 2) associating with a person convicted of a felony, 3) using a controlled substance, 4) consuming alcohol on November 22, 2017, and 5) consuming alcohol on March 5, 2018. He admitted to violations 2 through 5. Mr. Steiner's supervised release should be revoked. Mr. Steiner should be sentenced to time-served, with supervised release to follow through October 17, 2019. As additional conditions of his supervised release, Mr. Steiner should be fitted with a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) bracelet for the first six months of his supervised release, and shall be subject to electronic location monitoring and home detention for the first six months of his supervised release. Mr. Steiner should pay the cost of both of these conditions.

         II. Status

         Mr. Steiner pleaded guilty of to the crime of Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Methamphetamine in June 2011. He was sentenced to sixty-two months of incarceration, followed by forty-eight months of supervised release. (Doc. 38). He began his term of supervised release on October 17, 2014.

         On June 17, 2015, the United States Probation Office filed a Report of Offender under Supervision, notifying the Court that Mr. Steiner had failed to report for substance abuse testing and had tested positive for methamphetamine, though he denied any drug use. (Doc. 42).

         On November 15, 2015, the United States Probation Office filed a petition asking the Court to revoke Mr. Steiner's supervised release. Mr. Steiner admitted to using alcohol and methamphetamine. He was allowed to remain on supervised release, but was placed on electronic location monitoring for four months. (Doc. 56).

         Petition

         On March 22, 2018, the United States Probation Office filed a petition asking the Court to revoke Mr. Steiner's supervised release. The petition alleged that on June 2, 2017, Mr. Steiner picked up a package addressed to another person which contained synthetic marijuana. The petition also alleged that Mr. Steiner associated with that other person, who was a convicted felon, without permission from his probation officer. The petition further alleged that on June 7, 2017, Mr. Steiner admitted that he had used four bags of synthetic marijuana in the last four months, and tested positive for synthetic marijuana on June 5, 2017. The petition further alleged that on November 15, 2017, Mr. Steiner was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a DUI, which had caused a nearby accident, and Mr. Steiner submitted to a breath test which revealed a BAC of .157. Finally, the petition alleged that on March 5, 2018, Mr. Steiner was found drinking in a tavern with a BAC of .159. (Doc. 59). Based on the petition, United States District Judge Brian Morris issued a warrant for Mr. Steiner's arrest. (Doc. 60).

         Initial appearance

         Mr. Steiner appeared before the undersigned on April 17, 2018, in Great Falls, Montana. Federal Defender David Ness accompanied him at the initial appearance. Assistant United States Attorney Jared Cobell represented the United States.

         Mr. Steiner said he had read the petition and understood the allegations. Mr. Steiner waived the preliminary hearing, and the parties consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge for the revocation hearing.

         Revocation hearing

         He neither admitted or denied the first violation, but admitted to violations 2 through 5 as alleged. The United States did not put on any evidence with respect to violation 1, and therefore has not met its burden with respect to violation 1. The United States has met its burden with respect to violations 2 through 5 ...


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