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United States v. Ritter

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

November 7, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER S. RITTER, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          JOHN JOHNSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. Synopsis

         Defendant Christopher S. Ritter (Ritter) has been accused of violating the conditions of his supervised release. Ritter admitted the alleged violations. Ritter's supervised release should be revoked. Ritter should be placed in custody for 12 months and 1 day, with no supervised release to follow.

         II. Status

         Ritter pleaded guilty on May 22, 2012, to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (Count 2), and Receipt of Unregistered Firearms (Count 5). (Doc. 52). The Court sentenced Ritter to 70 months of custody on each count with the terms of custody to run concurrently. (Doc. 89). The Court also sentenced Ritter to 4 years of supervised release on Count 2 and 3 years of supervised release on Count 5, with the terms of supervised release to run concurrently. Id. Ritter's current term of supervised release began on July 22, 2016. (Doc. 192 at 1).

         Petition

         The United States Probation Office filed a Petition on October 30, 2018, requesting that the Court revoke Ritter's supervised release. (Doc. 192). The Petition alleges that Ritter violated the conditions of his supervised release: 1) by failing to notify his probation officer of a change in employment; and 2) by failing to successfully complete his programming at the Great Falls Pre-Release Center. (Doc. 192 at 2-3). United States District Judge Brian Morris issued a warrant for Ritter's arrest on October 1, 2018. (Doc. 193).

         Initial appearance

         Ritter appeared before the undersigned for his initial appearance on November 7, 2018. (Doc. 195). Ritter was represented by counsel. Ritter stated that he had read the petition and that he understood the allegations. Ritter waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The parties consented to proceed with the revocation hearing before the undersigned.

         Revocation hearing

         The Court conducted a revocation hearing on November 7, 2018. Ritter admitted that he had violated the conditions of his supervised release: 1) by failing to notify his probation officer of a change in employment; and 2) by failing to successfully complete his programming at the Great Falls Pre-Release Center. The violations are serious and warrant revocation of Ritter's supervised release.

         Ritter's violation is a Grade C violation. Ritter's criminal history category is I. Ritter's underlying offenses are Class B and Class C felonies. Ritter could be incarcerated for up to 36 months on Count 2 and 24 months on Count 5. Ritter could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 60 months on Count 2 and 36 months on Count 5, less any custody time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for a term of custody of 3 to 9 months.

         Ritter requested a term of custody of 12 months and 1 day. The government requested a term of custody of 12 to 18 months.

         III. ...


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