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United States v. Howard

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

June 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DALLAS EDWARD HOWARD, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO REVOKE DEFENDANT'S SUPERVISED RELEASE

          John Johnston United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. Synopsis

         The United States accused Mr. Howard of violating his conditions of supervised release by 1) failing to submit monthly reports to the probation office, 2) failing to give prior notice of a change in residence to the probation office, 3) using methamphetamine, and 4) failing to report for a non-compliance hearing. He admitted to the violations. Mr. Howard's supervised release should be revoked. He should be sentenced to three months of custody, with sixty-nine months of supervised release to follow. As provided by the conditions of his supervised release, Mr. Howard should be required to participate in a sixty-day inpatient treatment at Connection Corrections, as directed by the United States Probation Office, upon the completion of his term of custody.

         II. Status

         On January 21, 2011, United States District Court Judge Sam Haddon sentenced Mr. Howard to seventy-two months custody, with seventy-two months of supervised release to follow, after he pleaded guilty to Manufacture of Methamphetamine within One Thousand Feet of Public Housing. (Doc. 28). Mr. Howard began his first term of supervised release on January 11, 2016.

         On August 15, 2016, the United States Probation Office filed a Report on Offender under Supervision after Mr. Howard submitted a urine sample positive for methamphetamine. (Doc. 30). The Court allowed him to continue his supervised release after being placed in intensive outpatient treatment.

         Petition

         On May 17, 2018, the Probation Office filed a petition seeking to revoke Mr. Howard's supervised release. The petition alleged that Mr. Howard failed to submit monthly reports from November 2017 through March 2018. The petition further alleged that Mr. Howard had not been living at his approved residence since at least January of 2018. The petition also alleged that on April 21, 2018, Mr. Howard admitted verbally and in writing to using methamphetamine, and had used it multiple times in the previous two weeks. Finally, the petition alleged that on April 24, 2018, Mr. Howard failed to report for a non-compliance hearing. (Doc. 31). Based on the petition, United States District Court Judge Brian Morris issued a warrant for Mr. Howard's arrest. (Doc. 32).

         Initial appearance Mr. Howard appeared before the undersigned on June 19, 2108, in Great Falls, Montana, for an initial appearance. Federal Defender Hank Branom accompanied Mr. Howard at the initial appearance. Assistant United States Attorney Jared Cobell represented the United States.

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

         Revocation hearing

         Mr. Howard admitted to the violations as alleged in the petition, stating only that he did eventually complete the monthly reports, but did not submit them timely. The violations are serious and warrant revocation of Mr. Howard's supervised release.

         Mr. Howard's violation grade is Grade C, 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 on supervised release for seventy-two months, less any custody time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for five to eleven months in custody.

         Mr. Branom argued for a sentence of two months custody, followed by treatment, stating that Mr. Howard was not in a stable household and that upon release, he would be in a better living arrangement with his girlfriend. Mr. Howard exercised his right of allocution and apologized to the Court, stating that after his mother passed away, his sister and brother ousted him from the family home and he had no support. He stated that he resisted the temptation to use methamphetamine for as long as he could, but he was surrounded by people who ...


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