United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
OPINION & ORDER
COKE MORGAN, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Loren Dude Linker's
("Defendant") Motion for Early Termination of
Supervised Release ("the Motion"). Doc. 33.
Defendant filed the motion by counsel on May 5, 2016.
Id. The Government did not respond. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion.
March 16, 2011, the Grand Jury charged Defendant with
seventeen (17) counts of conspiracy to manufacture and
distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to
distribute methamphetamine, and related charges. Doc. 3. The
charges stemmed from Defendant's use of his business,
Handyman Plus, Inc., to produce and distribute
methamphetamine. Doc. 21 ¶ 5. On April 6, 2011,
Defendant pled guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture,
Distribute and Possess with Intent to Manufacture and
Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, a Schedule II
Controlled Substance, in violation of 21, U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B) (Count One) and Using a Communication
Facility to Facilitate Drug Trafficking Crimes, in violation
of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b), (d) and 18 U.S.C. §2 (Count
Seventeen). See Doc. 17. On September 20, 2011, Defendant was
sentenced to sixty (60) months imprisonment on Count One and
forty-eight (48) months imprisonment on Count Seventeen, to
run concurrently. Doc. 29. Defendant was also sentenced to
four (4) years supervised release on Count One and one (1)
year supervised release on Count Seventeen, to run
concurrently. Id. Defendant's period of
supervised release began on July 25, 2014. Doc. 33 ¶ 1.
Facts Defendant requests early termination of supervised
release so he can both reapply for a Class A contractor's
license and freely visit his elderly relatives out of state.
Doc. 33 ¶ V.
argues that he is eligible for early termination because he
was a "model inmate" while incarcerated and has
been "fully compliant with all terms and
conditions" and exhibited "stellar
performance" during his release. Id.
¶¶ IV, II. While incarcerated, Defendant completed
programs in electrical skills, general contracting, physical
fitness, and five hundred twelve (512) hours of comprehensive
drug treatment. Id. Exs. A-E. Fort Dix even awarded
Defendant $100 for "an act of heroism" in 2012.
Id. Ex. F. Defendant helped to rescue a prison staff
member from a ten-to-twelve foot deep grease pit behind a
food service building, likely preventing the staff member
from incurring "further injury." Id.
his release in 2014, Defendant has lived peacefully with his
family in Virginia Beach. Id. ¶II. He has been
employed, paid his financial obligations, remained drug free,
and satisfied the requirements of the Court and his probation
officer ("PO"). Id. ¶ II.
Defendant's PO supports his early termination of
supervised release. Id. ¶ III.
did not finish high school but earned his GED by the early
1990s. Doc. 21 ¶¶ 69-70. He has "obtained
multiple professional licenses and skills as a result of his
labor business" and operated Handyman Plus, Inc. with up
to twelve (12) employees for about thirteen (13) years before
he was incarcerated. Id. ¶¶ 70, 73.
Defendant estimated prior to his sentencing that he was
approximately $500, 000.00 in debt and Handyman Plus, Inc.
was not profitable. Id. ¶¶ 74-79, 103.
Defendant and his wife have been married since 1984 and have
two grown daughters. Id. ¶¶ 50-51.
Defendant has no siblings, and his elderly mother lives in
Virginia Beach. Id. ¶ 49.
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). The court must consider the
defendant's sentencing factors, see § 3553(a),
then may "consider a broad range of factors in addition
to an individual's behavior in considering whether to
terminate the supervised release period." United
States v. Present, 190 F.3d 279, 283 (4th Cir. 1999);
see § 3583(e). The court must at least "conclude
that the early termination of supervised release is warranted
both by the individual's conduct and also by the interest
of justice." Id. "Circumstances that
justify early discharge have included exceptionally good
behavior that makes the previously imposed term of supervised
release 'either too harsh or inappropriately tailored to
serve' general punishment goals." Folks v.
U.S.. 733 F.Supp.2d 649, 651 (M.D. N.C. 2010) (quoting
United States v. Lussier. 104 F.3d 32, 36 (2d Cir.
district courts "have found that even perfect compliance
with conditions of release does not qualify as
'exceptionally good behavior' warranting early
termination [because] "model prison conduct and full
compliance with the terms of supervised release is what is
expected of a person ....'" United States v.
Etheridee. 999 F.Supp.2d 192, 196 (D.C. Cir. 2013)
(quoting United States v. McKay. 352 F.Supp.2d 359,
361 (E.D.N.Y. 2005)); United States v. Hardestv, No.
95-20031-01-JWL, 2002 WL 731705, at *1 (D. Kan. Apr. 2, 2002)
(holding that continued supervision of the defendant was
"necessary to ensure that he makes as much satisfaction
of his debts as is possible" and that early termination
"would be an affront to the victims"); United
States v. Medina. 17 F.Supp.2d 245, 247 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
A defendant must show "unusual or extraordinary"
character beyond following the requirements of his release.
United States v. Caruso. 241 F.Supp.2d 466, 469
Medina, the defendant achieved "various
accomplishments" while incarcerated, "including
[completing] various construction projects." 17
F.Supp.2d at 246. The Government agreed that Medina's
supervision was "quite satisfactory" due to his
stable home environment, gainful employment at two locations,
and clean drug tests every sixty days. Id.
Nevertheless, the Government and the court agreed that early
termination of the defendant's supervised release was
"premature" because "no new or exceptional
circumstances [existed] sufficient to warrant
termination" five years early. Id. Noting that
an "unblemished" supervised release period was
"alone ... not sufficient reason to terminate the
supervised release, " the court denied Medina's
motion but granted leave for him to renew it a year later.