United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
the court is defendant's motion for early termination of
probation. In support of his motion, defendant states he has
completed more than two and one-half years of probation with
no compliance issues. He is employed at Occupational Health
Services, where he is practicing occupational health that
does not include prescribing any narcotics. During the past
two years he has completed over 200 continuing medical
education hours including: “Tennessee Guidelines for
Treatment of Chronic Pain;” “Controlled Substance
Education for Prescribers;” “Addressing the
Opioid Epidemic;” and an 8.5 hour course on
“Opioid Prescribing Practices.” He states that
his supervising physician is pleased with his remediation,
attention to detail, discernment, and medical decision
spring, defendant was given the opportunity to share his
story at the State Conference for the Association of
Physician Assistants. He told them of the dangers of
over-prescribing and the seriousness of the opioid crises.
After his comments, several professors who attended the
conference asked defendant to come and speak at their
respective educational institutions.
has continued in his role was a worship leader in the music
ministry at Two Rivers Church. He shares his testimony with
others who are facing hardships or loss as a result of bad
decisions. He regularly volunteers with his children's
school activities. Because of his conviction and probation
status, defendant has been denied the opportunity to obtain
life insurance to protect his family from financial loss; he
cannot travel with his job; and he is unable to work through
his church on medical mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico
City. Defendant states he has learned from his past mistakes
and the harm he caused persons that were in his care as well
as the community. He is committed to making a difference in
the lives of others moving forward.
March 3, 2017, defendant was sentenced to three (3) years of
supervised probation following his guilty plea to conspiracy
to distribute Oxycodone, Morphine, Oxymorphone and Alprazolam
by writing illegal prescriptions. Defendant's base
offense level, after adjusting the offense level for
acceptance of responsibility was 21, and his criminal history
category was I, resulting in an advisory guideline range of
37 - 46 months. Defendant received a motion for substantial
assistance to the government, which reduced his guideline
range to 30 months. The court then granted defendant's
motion for a downward departure/variance based on
defendant's cooperation (including testimony at Dr.
Joyner's sentencing), record of steady employment, minor
role in the offense, and lack of criminal history, sentencing
defendant to three years probation; thus saving defendant
from a term of imprisonment. Defendant's term of
probation is set to expire on March 2, 2020.
Probation Office has informed the court that it does not
object to early termination of probation. However, the
government does object to early termination pointing out that
defendant is asking the court to reduce his actual sentence.
The government points out that defendant used his medical
license to contribute to the opioid addiction epidemic and he
did so for financial gain.
moves for early termination of supervised probation pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) which provides:
The court may, after considering the factors set forth in
section 3553(a)(1), (a)(2)(B), (a)(2)(C), (a)(2)(D), (a)(4),
(a)(6), and (a)(7) -
Terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the
defendant released at any time after the expiration of one
year of supervised release, pursuant to the provisions of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to the
modification of probation, 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).
on the government's objection, the court denied a
previous motion for early termination, but allowed defendant
to refile his motion after service of two years of probation.
In reviewing the current motion, defendant has shown that he
is rehabilitated and is striving to serve the community he
once harmed. Moreover, defendant has served approximately two
years and eight months of his term of probation. Since the
last review, defendant has maintained a stable residence and
employment. After carefully considering defendant's
rehabilitation and the requirements of the statute, the court
finds that the relevant portions of 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)
do support early termination of defendant's probation.
Although the government opposes the current motion, the court
finds that another four months on probation are not needed to
rehabilitate this defendant. Accordingly, the motion [R. 505]
is GRANTED, and defendant's term of
probation is hereby TERMINATED The court
commends defendant for his efforts to turn his life around,
and wishes him success in his future endeavors.