United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO CONTINUE SENTENCING
A. WOODCOCK, JR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 22, 2013, Anthony William Post entered a CVS Pharmacy
in Augusta, Maine, wearing a winter jacket, ski hat with ear
flaps, a scarf across his face and prescription eyeglasses,
and passed a note to the pharmacy technician that demanded
oxycodone and told her that he had a gun and would start
shooting if she failed to comply. Prosecution
Version at 1 (ECF No. 20). The pharmacy technician
turned the note over to the pharmacist, who filled a bag with
oxycodone. Id. Mr. Post and his accomplices split
the drugs. Id. at 5. Within a matter of days, the
police identified him as the culprit and arrested him.
Id. at 2.
March 12, 2013, Mr. Post waived indictment and pleaded guilty
to interference with commerce by robbery, a violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1951. Min. Entry (ECF No. 23). On
February 21, 2014, the Court sentenced Mr. Post to
twenty-four months of incarceration, followed by three years
of supervised release, a $100 special assessment, an order of
restitution, and no fine. J. (ECF No. 47).
18, 2015, the Probation Office petitioned the Court, alleging
that Mr. Post had violated the terms of his supervised
release by testing positive for use of illegal drugs, failing
to appear for drug testing, failing to attend substance abuse
counseling, and failing to report to the Probation Office.
Pet. for Warrant or Summons for Offender under
Supervision (ECF No. 52). On October 8, 2015, the Court
imposed a five month period of incarceration and thirty-one
months of additional supervised release. J. (ECF No.
April 21, 2016, the Probation Office petitioned for a second
warrant for violations of the terms of supervised release,
alleging that Mr. Post had tested positive for the use of
illegal drugs, and that he had failed to report for drug
testing, attend counseling, report to the Probation Officer,
and comply with a community confinement condition. Pet.
for Warrant or Summons for Offender under Supervision
(ECF No. 75). Mr. Post admitted the violations of the terms
of his supervised release on June 13, 2016. Min.
Entry (ECF No. 86).
doing so, Mr. Post moved to continue the sentencing portion
of the revocation hearing on the ground that he is currently
working with Nathan Knight of Piscataquis Valley Adult
Education Cooperative. Mot. to Continue Sentencing
at 1 (ECF No. 84). Mr. Knight had written that he, Mr.
Post's attorney, and Mr. Post “believe it is in
Anthony's best interest that he remain at Piscataquis
County Jail until he has had the ability to enroll in classes
and receive the financial aid necessary to fund his
education.” Id. Attach. A Letter from
Nathan Knight To Whom It May Concern at 1 (June 6,
2016). Mr. Knight represented that he believed that
“this could be accomplished by the beginning of the
fall semester, which is August 22nd.”
Id. He said that he “only ask that Mr. Post
remains in Dover-Foxcroft at least until the end of
Court reluctantly granted the motion to continue the
sentencing phase of the revocation process and set the
sentencing hearing for September 6, 2016. Order Granting
Mot. to Continue Sentencing (ECF No. 85); Notice of
Hr'g on Mot. (ECF No. 87). On August 23, 2016, Mr.
Post moved again to continue the sentencing phase of the
revocation proceeding. Mot. to Continue Sentencing
(ECF No. 89). This time, Mr. Post attached a letter from Mr.
Knight in which Mr. Knight asks that Mr. Post be allowed to
remain at the Piscataquis County Jail until November 21, 2016
in order to complete his first semester at Adams State
University. Id. Attach. A Letter from Nathan
Knight To Whom It May Concern at 1 (Aug. 16, 2016). This
time, unlike the last time, the Government objects to the
continuance. Obj. to Def.'s Mot. to Continue
(ECF No. 90).
Court denies the motion to continue. The Court has had
experience with this issue in the cases of the Midgette
brothers, Richard Brandon Midgette, U.S. v.
Midgette, No. 1:13-cr-00144-JAW (D. Me. filed Aug. 14,
2013), and Matthew Kent Midgette, U.S. v. Midgette,
No. 1:13-cr-00145-JAW (D. Me. filed Aug. 14, 2013). In those
cases, the two defendants were incarcerated at the
Piscataquis County Jail awaiting sentencing on firearms
charges. Both brothers pleaded guilty on May 28, 2015. The
sentencing hearings, originally scheduled for February 19,
2016, were continued because Mr. Knight represented that the
brothers needed six to eight weeks to complete their
coursework at Kennebec Valley Community College. The Court
reset the sentencing date for June 3, 2016.
Richard Brandon and Matthew Kent both moved for another
continuance on April 13 and April 20, 2016, respectively.
This time Mr. Knight informed the Court that they had
enrolled in a four-course semester program through Adams
State University and that they needed to remain at
Piscataquis County Jail until the middle of June. The Court
granted these motions and reset the sentencings for June 17,
mid-May, 2016, both brothers again moved to continue the
sentencing hearings. This time Mr. Knight said that the
brothers needed until July 12, 2016 to complete the necessary
coursework. The Court granted those motions and, due to
difficulties with summer scheduling, the sentencing hearings
are finally taking place on September 1, 2016.
light of this experience, the Court is not willing to accept
Mr. Knight's representation that Mr. Post will be ready
for sentencing on November 21, 2016. If the past is prologue,
Mr. Post will be moving to continue the sentencing hearing
for a date post-November 21, 2016 because Mr. Knight
concludes that Mr. Post needs more time in Piscataquis County
Jail to complete his educational program.
Court does not question Mr. Knight's good faith or his
laudable concern for the education of inmates. However, a
defendant's need for education is but one factor among
many to be considered in federal sentencing. 18 U.S.C. §
3553(a). In the Court's view, Mr. Post's most urgent
need is not education; it is drug treatment. Mr. Post has
been profoundly addicted to drugs for an extended period of
time. His addiction has led to the commission of violent
crimes and terms of incarceration in state and federal
prison, and yet during his periods of supervised release, he
has been unwilling or unable even to attend drug treatment
sessions on a sustained basis.
Post also needs to be punished for his repeated violations of
the conditions of supervised release. The goals of federal
sentencing include the need to reflect the seriousness of the
offense, provide an adequate deterrence to criminal conduct,
and protect the public from future crimes of the defendant.
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(A), (B), (C). Furthermore,
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(b)(1) states that a
court “must impose sentence without unnecessary
delay.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(b)(1). To have a salutary
impact, the sentence should be imposed as close to the
violation as possible. In addition, a defendant should
generally serve a federal sentence in a federal prison.
Finally, if Mr. Post wishes to continue with further