The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge.
Is the Wright case right?
A dispute about precedent.
Defendant says positive drug tests don't imply possession.
The Court follows the weight of well-supported authority.
This cause is before the Court following the hearing on revocation of
supervised release. For the reasons given below, the Court revokes
Defendant's supervised release.
On September 10, 1997 Defendant was indicted on a charge of
distribution of hydromorphone. He pleaded guilty and on January 1, 1998,
Defendant was sentenced to 2 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised
Defendant's term of supervised release began on January 15, 1998. But
Defendant did not comply with the conditions imposed on his supervised
release. Thus, on June 14, 1999, the Government filed a Petition for
Summons for Offender Under Supervised Release. The petition alleged that
on November 4, 1998, Defendant had submitted a urine sample that tested
positive for use of cocaine. Then, on April 29, 1999, Defendant submitted
urine samples that tested positive for use of cannibus.
The Dispositional Report states that Defendant's violation is a grade B
violation. Defendant has filed an objection to the Dispositional Report
and contends that his positive tests for cocaine and cannibus constitute
only grade C violations.
The policy statements contained in the Sentencing Guidelines contain
three grades of violations of supervised release. Grade A violations are
the most serious, and they include offenses such as controlled substance
offenses, as defined at 4B1.2, and offenses involving firearm possession
and other offenses punishable by a "term of imprisonment exceeding twenty
years." 7B1.1(a)(1). Grade B violations, by contrast, are those offenses
(under federal, state or local law) that are punishable by terms of
imprisonment in excess of one year. U.S.S.G. § 7B1.1(a)(2). Finally,
grade C violations, the least serious, include those offenses that are'
punishable (under federal, state or local law) for a period of less than a
year. 7B1.1(a)(3) Grade C violations also include those offenses that are
simply violations of the terms of supervised release. Id.
In arguing that he committed only a grade C violation when he tested
positive for drugs, Defendant relies exclusively upon the case of United
States v. Wright, 92 F.3d 502 (7th Cir. 1996). In that case, a defendant
violated his supervised release when he was arrested and charged with
possession with intent to distribute 23 grams of crack cocaine and when he
was found with a handgun. The District Judge determined that the
defendant had committed ...