United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE DEFENDANT'S
SECOND MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF SUPERVISED RELEASE
(DKT. NO. 83)
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
defendant, in his early fifties, pled guilty to possessing
five grams or more of crack. Judge Clevert originally
sentenced him to serve a sentence of 135 months in custody,
followed by three years of supervised release. In March of
2015, Judge Clevert reduced the prison sentence to 108 months
under Amendment 782. The defendant started his term of
supervised release on December 3, 2015-two years and two and
a half weeks ago.
31, 2017, the court received the defendant's request for
early termination of his supervised release. Dkt. No. 79. At
that time, he'd been on supervised release for about a
year and a half. Both probation and the government agreed
that he'd done some good things during that time-working
toward opening his own convenience store, restoring his
relationship with his son, dealing with a very severe
illness, working two jobs, maintaining a stable residence.
They expressed a few concerns, however. First, the defendant
did not actually have a license yet to open his store.
Second, he had not been cooperative with probation in turning
over his financial records-in particular, it wasn't clear
where he got the money to renovate the space for the proposed
convenience store. The defendant had not explained in his
motion why continuing on supervised release constituted a
hardship to him. And the government expressed concern that
he'd committed a serious offense at an age when one would
have expected him to have aged out of criminal conduct.
court denied the defendant's request for early
termination, but without prejudice. Dkt. No. 82. It applauded
the defendant for all the positive strides he'd made. It
gave him the opportunity to renew his request “in a few
months, ” and told him that if he decided to do that,
he needed to give the court an explanation of what he'd
been doing to go “above and beyond” simply
complying with his supervised release conditions. He also
needed to explain why complying with those conditions
constituted a hardship to him. Id.
court issued that order on September 20, 2017. A month and a
half later, on November 2, 2017, the court received this
second motion for early termination of supervised release.
Dkt. No. 83. In this second motion, the defendant says that
he now has provided his probation officer with all of his
monthly reports and all of the information about his
financial status. He says he's now opened his convenience
store, and still is working another full-time job as well. He
says he plans to hire an employee to help in the store in the
future; right now, he is doing all of the cleaning and
stocking. He says he has been leading a productive lifestyle.
He directed the court to an October 14, 2017 article in the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, describing the dedication on that
date of the Milwaukee Art Project's “Quilt of
The article indicates that the forty-two-foot mural by Ammar
Nsorama was painted on a canvas donated by the defendant, who
is described as the owner of Londyn Foods at 3135 W. Lisbon
Avenue; this is the defendant's convenience store. (The
Milwaukee Art Project is an arts group formed in response to
the Sherman Park violence.)
response to the court's instruction that he explain why
being on supervised release constituted a hardship for him,
the defendant says that his “time is very limited as he
is working a full-time job along with running his
store.” Dkt. No. 83 at 2.
confirms that the defendant now has provided his personal and
business financial information. Dkt. No. 85 at 2-3. It
reports that he continues to test negative on his urine
screens, and confirms that his store is open and that he
hopes (once he gets the license) to sell hot food there.
While noting that the defendant's actions have not gone
“above and beyond” complying with the conditions
of his release, probation takes no position on whether the
court should grant the defendant's request. Probation
does note that the defendant's monitoring level will be
reassessed in June 2018. Id.
government again acknowledges that the defendant is doing
well. Dkt. No. 86. The government remains concerned, however,
that neither probation nor the government has any information
about where the defendant got the $30, 000 he told the
licensing committee he used to install a kitchen in his
store. The government also is concerned that the
defendant's offense of conviction was a serious one, and
that it followed three other felony drug convictions in his
forties and a string of other convictions. The government
noted that, at the time it wrote its letter, the defendant
had only eleven months left on supervision, and that he'd
still not explained why supervision constituted a hardship
for him. Id.
clear to this court that the defendant read the court's
prior order, and tried to do what the court asked him to do.
He didn't submit a long legal memo this time-he confined
himself to explaining what he'd been doing in the
forty-five days since the court denied his last motion. The
defendant's generosity and community service in donating
a canvas for the “Quilt of Healing” mural, and
allowing the Milwaukee Arts Project to put the mural on the
wall of his store, shows that he wants to be a part of the
solution to the problems his community faces. The court
commends the defendant for his part in that project, and in
the effort to combat hate and violence in Milwaukee.
remains unclear to the court why supervision is a hardship.
The defendant says he is busy (and clearly he is), but many
people on supervised release are busy. Frankly, when the
court told the defendant in its last order that he could
renew his request “in a few months, ” the court
meant, “in a few months, ” not in a
month and a half. The reason the court said “in a few
months” was because it wanted to see if the defendant
was able to get his store fully operational, to provide all
financial information (including information about how he
funded renovations to his store), and to log a few more
negative urine screens.
defendant is scheduled for a review of his supervision level
in June of 2018. By that time, he will have served 2.5 years
of his three-year supervised release term. If, by the time of
that review, the defendant has (a) provided probation with
information about how he funded the renovations for his
store, (b) had no positive urine screens, (c) continued to
maintain a stable residence and his employment, and (d) had
no further violations, the court will grant his request to
terminate his supervised release early.
court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the
defendant's second motion for early termination of