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United States v. Wesley

United States District Court, District of Columbia

May 1, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JOHN Q. WESLEY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before this Court is pro se Defendant John Q. Wesley's [81] Letter requesting an early termination of his supervised release, which is treated by this Court as a motion for early termination of supervision (“Mot.”); the U.S. Probation Office's [83] Response to Defendant's Request for Early Termination (“Prob. Resp.”); the Government's [86] Response to Defendant's Motion for Early Termination of Supervised Release (“Govt. Resp.”); and Defendant's [90] Reply to the Government's Response (“Reply”). Upon review of the pleadings, the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, this Court DENIES Defendant John Q. Wesley's [81] Motion for Early Termination of Supervised Release.

         BACKGROUND

         Pro se Defendant John Q. Wesley (“Defendant” or “Mr. Wesley”) was charged by superseding indictment with one count of Unlawful Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 Grams or More of Cocaine Base in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(iii) (Count One); one count of Using, Carrying and Possessing a Firearm during a Drug Trafficking Offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count Two); and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (Count Three). Following a jury trial, the Defendant was found guilty on all three counts on June 12, 2001.

         On September 5, 2001, this Court held a sentencing hearing and after consideration of Presentence Investigation Reports by both parties, the Court sentenced Mr. Wesley to concurrent terms of 120 months incarceration on counts one and three, and 60 months imprisonment on count two, to be served consecutively to counts one and three. Mr. Wesley also received a total of eight years of supervised release, which commenced on May 15, 2014 and is scheduled to terminate on May 14, 2022. On November 19, 2016, Mr. Wesley was arrested and charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Carrying a Pistol without a License, Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device, Possession of an Open Container of Alcohol and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. All of these charges were subsequently dismissed.

         In November 2017, after serving more than three years of supervised release, Mr. Wesley sent the Court a letter requesting an early termination of his supervised release, which is treated as a motion for early termination of his supervision. See Motion, ECF No. 81. Mr. Wesley states that he is employed full-time and has been promoted in his employment, but he cannot be considered for certain work opportunities while he is on supervised release. See Id. Mr. Wesley indicates further that he would like to move to another state and get a “fresh start” as his first child is on the way, and his current job would permit him to transfer to any state where his employer operates. Id.

         The Court requested that the Probation Office for the District of Columbia file a response to the Mr. Wesley's letter. The Court also ordered the United States to state its position on Defendant's request for early termination of his supervised release.

         The United States opposes Mr. Wesley's request for early termination of supervision. The United States acknowledges that “defendant has made positive progress and genuine efforts on supervised release” but objects to early termination of supervised release on grounds that these efforts do not constitute “something of an unusual or extraordinary nature.” See Govt. Resp. ECF No. 86, at 2. The United States notes that during his period of supervised release, Mr. Wesley was “arrested for being involved or surrounded by the same illegal activity for which he was arrested in the instant case” and accordingly, early termination of supervision is not in the interest of justice. See Govt. Resp., ECF No. 86, at 3.

         The Probation Office indicates that Mr. Wesley does not qualify for early termination of his supervision under the guidelines adopted by their office, because Mr. Wesley is not “[f]ree from high severity violations.” Prob. Resp., ECF No. 83, at 2. A “high severity violation” [is defined] as a felony offense conduct, whether [the defendant is] arrested or not.” See Prob. Resp., ECF. No. 83, at 2. The Memorandum concludes that “[a]part from the high severity violation, Mr. Wesley's adjustment to supervision is consistent with the supervision objectives based on his personal history and characteristics . . . [and there is no] particular behavior that can be characterized as remarkable or going beyond expectations.” Id. at 3.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e), a court, after considering the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1), (a)((2)(B), (a)(2)(C), (a)(2)(D), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), and (a)(7), may “terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the defendant released at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release . . . if it is satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the defendant released and the interest of justice(.)” 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1).[1] The District of Columbia Circuit Court has indicated that, in the context of a denial of a motion for early termination of supervision, the district court must explain its consideration of the requisite factors, unless “the reasons for denying the motion are apparent from the record.” United States v. Mathis Gardner, 783 F.3d 1286, 1289 (D.C. Cir. 2015). Accordingly, discussed below are the relevant factors under Section 3553 (a) and whether or not the Defendant's post-incarceration conduct and the interest of justice warrant an early termination of Defendant's supervised release.

         ANALYSIS

         Considering Section 3553(a) Factors

         The Court begins its analysis pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) by examining the Section 3553(a) factors: 1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the defendant's history and characteristics; 2) deterrence of criminal conduct; 3) protection of the public from further crimes of the defendant; 4) the need to provide the defendant with educational or vocational training, medical care, or correctional treatment; 5) the applicable sentencing guideline range for the offense and pertinent policy statements by the U.S. Sentencing Commission; 6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities; and 7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense. See 18 U.S.C. § 3553 (a)(1), (a)(2)(B)-(D), and (a)(4)-(7). The Court notes that the seventh factor is not applicable because the Defendant had no restitution obligations to any victims of the offense. Nor is the fifth factor applicable. See United States v Harris, 258 F.Supp.3d 137, 145 (D.D.C. 2017) (noting that the fifth factor had no relevance because the Commission “has not promulgated any guidelines or policy statements addressing early termination of supervised release, but [instead has] limited its policy guidance to violations of supervised release”). Furthermore, the fourth factor involving the provision of educational or vocational ...


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