United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TERMINATE
PROBATION EARLY (DKT. NO. 108)
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 13, 2017, this court sentenced the defendant to three
years of probation, dkt. no. 98, after she pled guilty to a
violation of 18 U.S.C. §1952(a)(3), dkt. no. 76. On June
3, 2019, the defendant asked the court to terminate her
probation early. Dkt. No. 108. The defendant is scheduled to
discharge on April 6, 2020. Neither probation nor the
government oppose the motion. Dkt. Nos. 110, 111.
court transferred supervision of the defendant to the
Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, at the time of
sentencing. Both the defendant and the probation department
report that the defendant has been compliant with the
conditions of supervision-she has maintained stable
employment and a stable residence, she obtained a degree in
cosmetology and works as a nail technician. She also is
working on another degree in that field. Dkt. No. 108 at 1.
The defendant cites two changes in her life that require
frequent travel. Id. First, the defendant had a
baby, and the baby's father lives in North Carolina.
Id. Second, the defendant's mother died of a
heart attack on April 22, 2019. Id. Her mother
frequently traveled to North Carolina to assist a disabled
relative, and the defendant now must take on that role.
Id. at 2.
probation officer filed a memorandum, indicating that the
defendant poses no identified risk to the public and remains
free of violations. Dkt. No. 110. The officer recommends
early discharge, as does the government. The government
points out that the defendant has served more than two years
of her probation without violations. Dkt. No. 111.
18 U.S.C. § 3564(c), the court may grant early
termination of probation if the defendant has served at least
one year, the government is given notice and an opportunity
to be heard, and termination is in the interest of justice
based on the defendant's conduct and the sentencing
factors under 18 U.S.C. §3553(a). United States v.
Khan, 2014 WL 5334653, *1 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 20, 2014). The
district court need not make explicit findings on each of the
relevant § 3553(a) factors, but must give some
indication that it considered those factors. United
States v. Carter, 408 F.3d 852, 854 (7th Cir. 2005).
defendant has been on supervised release for longer than one
year, and the court gave the government notice and the
opportunity to respond to the motion (which it has done). The
issue, then, is whether early termination is in the interest
of justice, based on the §3553(a) factors and the
defendant's own conduct.
first §3553(a) factor is the seriousness of the offense.
The defendant admitted to participation in transporting a
large amount of heroin from Houston to Milwaukee. The court
concluded, however, that while the defendant knew that she
was involve in transporting something illegal, she didn't
know what that something was, and she did so only once.
second §3553(a) factor is the defendant's personal
history and characteristics. The defendant's employment
led to her involvement in this offense, but she has left that
work. She has completed her degree in cosmetology and
continues to work on her education. She has demonstrated an
ability to maintain employment, maintain a residence and care
for her child. She has explained her reasons for asking for
the early termination-the travel restrictions are burdensome
because the father of her child and a disabled relative live
in North Carolina.
§3553(a) factors include the need to afford adequate
deterrence and protect the public. The defendant's
probation officer in the Southern District of Texas
supervises her on a low threat case load and the defendant
reports via the Electronic Reporting System, which means that
the supervising agent does not see the defendant as a danger
to the public. To the extent that sentences the courts impose
act as a general deterrent, the sentence of probation imposed
here has served that purpose. Regarding specific deterrence,
it does not appear necessary to keep the defendant on
probation to make sure that she lives a pro-social,
productive life. The court finds that the §3553(a)
factors weigh in favor of the court terminating the
defendant's probation early.
court congratulates the defendant on her hard work, the
positive changes in her life and all that she has
accomplished since she appeared before the court in
Milwaukee. The defendant should be proud of her new career,
her education and her role as a mother. It is fairly unusual
for both the probation department and the government to
recommend early termination of supervision; the defendant
should be proud that she has earned this distinction. The
court wishes the defendant all the best in the future.
court GRANTS the defendant's motion for