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United States v. Blackwell

United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division

November 8, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN RUSSELL BLACKWELL, Defendant,

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          John Johnston United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Synopsis

         Defendant Brian Russell Blackwell (Blackwell) has been accused of violating the conditions of his supervised release. Blackwell admitted all of the alleged violations, except alleged violation 5. The government withdrew alleged violation 5. Blackwell's supervised release should be revoked. Blackwell should be placed in custody for 6 months, with 48 months of supervised release to follow. Blackwell's supervised release conditions should be modified to include location monitoring during the first 180 days of supervised release.

         II. Status

         Blackwell pleaded guilty to Failure to Register as a Sex Offender on December 12, 2017. (Doc. 22). The Court sentenced Blackwell to 12 months of custody, followed by 5 years of supervised release. (Doc. 31). Blackwell's current term of supervised release began on September 17, 2019. (Doc. 46 at 2).

         Petition

         The United States Probation Office filed an Amended Petition on November 7, 2019, requesting that the Court revoke Blackwell's supervised release. (Doc. 50). The Amended Petition alleged that Blackwell had violated the conditions of his supervised release: 1) by using methamphetamine on two occasions; 2) by possessing methamphetamine on two occasions; 3) by failing to successfully complete his sex offender treatment program; 4) by failing to report to his probation officer on two occasions; and 5) by failing to attend sex offender treatment.

         Initial appearance

         Blackwell appeared before the undersigned for his initial appearance on November 7, 2019. Blackwell was represented by counsel. Blackwell stated that he had read the Amended Petition and that he understood the allegations. Blackwell 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, 2019. Blackwell admitted that he had violated the conditions of his supervised release: 1) by using methamphetamine on two occasions; 2) by possessing methamphetamine on two occasions; 3) by failing to report to his probation officer on two occasions; and 4) by failing to attend sex offender treatment. The government withdrew alleged violation 5. The violations that Blackwell admitted are serious and warrant revocation of Blackwell's supervised release.

         Blackwell's violations are Grade C violations. Blackwell's criminal history category is IV. Blackwell's underlying offense is a Class C felony. Blackwell could be incarcerated for up to 24 months. Blackwell could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 54 months, less any custody time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for a term of custody of 6 to 12 months.

         III. Analysis

         Blackwell's supervised release should be revoked. Blackwell should be incarcerated for 6 months, with 48 months of supervised release to follow. Blackwell's supervised release conditions should be modified to include location monitoring during the first 180 days ...


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