United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court denies the Defendant's motion for early termination
of his four-year term of supervised release because he failed
to comply with the provisions of the sentencing judgment and
the conditions of supervised release that require payment of
the Court-ordered fine.
18, 2008, a federal jury convicted Anthony Caparotta of
engaging in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to
distribute marijuana and to distribute marijuana. Verdict
Form (ECF No. 478). The jury concluded that the amount
of the marijuana attributable to the conspiracy involved 100
or more kilograms of marijuana. Id. On October 8,
2008, this Court sentenced Anthony Caparotta to sixty-eight
months of incarceration followed by four years of supervised
release, a fine of $17, 900, and a $100 special assessment.
J. (ECF No. 513). On March 29, 2016, Mr. Caparotta,
acting pro se, filed a motion for early termination of his
term of supervised release. Pro Se Letter from Anthony
Caparotta to Judge John Woodcock (Mar. 28, 2016) (ECF
No. 744) (Def.'s Mot.). On June 6, 2016, the
Government filed an opposition to Mr. Caparotta's motion.
U.S. Probation's Obj. to Def.'s Req. for
Early Termination of Supervised Release (ECF
No. 746) (Gov't's Opp'n). Mr. Caparotta
has not filed a reply.
Anthony Caparotta's Motion
motion, Mr. Caparotta assures the Court that he has
"reflected on my life and understand what I did was
legally and morally wrong" and that he is "very
sorry for my actions." Def.'s Mot. at 1.
Noting that he was released from FCI Fort Devens,
Massachusetts in December 2012, he said he has "complied
with all of the requirements of my probation without
incident." Id. He reveals that he has
"secured gainful employment" and has been working
"since May 2013." Id. In fact, he has been
"promoted to a Supervisor position" and has
"tried hard to rejoin society as a positive and
productive member." Id. He represents that
during his "entire time of incarceration, through the
half-way house, and my probation I have not had a single
negative incident." Id.
response, the Government notes that Mr. Caparotta was
released from the Bureau of Prisons on May 23, 2013 and
focuses on his failure to make more of an effort to pay the
fine imposed in this case. Gov't's Opp'n
at 1-2. The Government represents that Mr. Caparotta has paid
only $1, 375.00 toward the total fine of $17, 900.
Id. The Government observes that in August 2015, Mr.
Caparotta took out a car loan, agreeing to pay $301 per month
and that in 2015, Mr. Caparotta earned over $33, 000.
Id. at 2. In fact, the Government says that on June
1, 2015, the Probation Office has imposed a new fine
repayment schedule for Mr. Caparotta of $150 per month and he
has not made the required payments. Id.
18 U.S.C. § 3583, a court may terminate a period of
supervised release "after the expiration of one year of
supervised release." 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). As Mr.
Caparotta has now served more than one year of supervised
release, the Court is authorized to terminate his remaining
term of supervised release. However, the statute states that
the court should consider a set of factors under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) in making this decision and the court must be
"satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct
of the defendant released and the interest of justice."
Id. "The showing required for a defendant to
obtain a modification of a condition of supervised release
pursuant to section 3583(e) is an open question in [the First
Circuit]." United States v. Garrasteguy, 559
F.3d 34, 43 n.12 (1st Cir. 2009). The same uncertainty
attaches to early terminations under § 3583(e). The
unanswered question is whether, in modifying or terminating
supervised release, the trial court acts within its
discretion or whether a defendant must demonstrate changed or
extraordinary circumstances. Compare United States v.
Kay, 283 Fed.App'x 944, 946 (3d Cir. 2008)
(reviewing district court's modification of supervised
release for abuse of discretion and leaving open the question
of whether "significantly changed or extraordinary
circumstances" standard is controlling in its
modification determination), with United States v.
Lussier, 104 F.3d 32, 36 (2d Cir. 1997) ("Section
3583(e) provides the district court with retained authority
to revoke, discharge, or modify terms and conditions of
supervised release following its initial imposition of a
supervised release term in order to account for new or
higher standard is applicable in the First Circuit, Mr.
Caparotta has failed to demonstrate any significantly changed
or extraordinary circumstances that would justify either a
modification or termination of supervised release. As another
court observed, a defendant "is not entitled to early
termination simply because he has successfully served a
portion of his supervised release." United States v.
McKay, 352 F.Supp.2d 359, 361 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). Nor is he
likely to receive a termination of supervised release by mere
compliance with its terms because "ultimately that is
what is expected of him." United States v.
Medina, 17 F.Supp.2d 245, 247 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
that the lower standard applies and the Court has the
discretion to modify or terminate Mr. Caparotta's
supervised release, the Court declines to do so. First, Mr.
Caparotta committed a crime that mandates a minimum period of
supervised release of four years. 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(B). Although the Court retains the authority under
§ 3583(e)(1) to modify or terminate the supervised
release before the full four years has expired, it is
cognizant of the statutory directive of four years for this
type of crime. Furthermore, as he now acknowledges, the
circumstances of Mr. Caparotta's crime were serious.
Third, the Probation Office set the $150 monthly payment in
June 2015 for Mr. Caparotta to pay down on his fine,
but-shortly after the new repayment schedule was
established-Mr. Caparotta bought himself a car and incurred a