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United States v. Birdtail

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

November 19, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JASON BIRDTAIL, JR., Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          John Johnston United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Synopsis

         Defendant Jason Birdtail, Jr. (Birdtail) has been accused of violating the conditions of his supervised release. The court treated alleged violations 1 and 2 as a single violation given that they involved the same conduct. Birdtail admitted that he had violated the conditions of his supervised release by failing to successfully complete his substance abuse treatment program at Connections Corrections. The government did not attempt to prove alleged violation 3. Birdtail's supervised release should be revoked. Birdtail should be placed in custody for 10 months, with no supervised release to follow.

         II. Status

         Birdtail pleaded guilty to Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury on February 9, 2015. (Doc. 30). The Court sentenced Birdtail to 33 months of custody, followed by 2 years of supervised release. (Doc. 43). Birdtail's current term of supervised release began on October 21, 2019. (Doc. 87 at 1).

         Petition

         The United States Probation Office filed a Petition requesting that the Court revoke Birdtail's supervised release on November 5, 2019. (Doc. 87). The Petition alleged that Birdtail had violated the conditions of his supervised release; 1) by failing to complete his 60-day term at Connections Corrections; 2) by failing to successfully complete his substance abuse treatment program at Connections Corrections; and 3) by knowingly interacting with a convicted felon without first obtaining the approval of his probation officer.

         Initial appearance

         Birdtail appeared before the undersigned for his initial appearance on November 19, 2019. Birdtail was represented by counsel. Birdtail stated that he had read the petition and that he understood the allegations. Birdtail 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 19, 2019. The Court treated alleged violations 1 and 2 as a single violation given that they involved the same conduct. Birdtail admitted that he had violated the conditions of his supervised release by failing to successfully complete his substance abuse treatment program at Connections Corrections. The government did not attempt to prove alleged violation 3. The violation that Birdtail admitted is serious and warrants revocation of Birdtail's supervised release.

         BirdtaiPs violation is a Grade C violation. Birdtail's criminal history category is II. Birdtail's underlying offense is a Class C felony. Birdtail could be incarcerated for up to 24 months. He could be ordered to remain on supervised release for up to 14 months, less any custody time imposed. The United States Sentencing Guidelines call for a term of custody of 4 to 10 months.

         III. Analysis

         Birdtail's supervised release should be revoked. Birdtail should be incarcerated for 10 months, with no supervised release to follow. This ...


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