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United States v. Adams

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

July 23, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Cedric Markeith Adams, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis. No. 2:12-cr-20172-1—S. Thomas Anderson, District Judge.

COUNSEL

ON BRIEF:

Needum L. Germany, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellant.

Frederick H. Godwin, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Before: KEITH and McKEAGUE, Circuit Judges; WATSON, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

DAMON J. KEITH, Circuit Judge.

Defendant appeals the district court's judgment revoking supervised release and imposing a thirteen-month sentence based on Defendant's guilty plea to four violations of his supervised release conditions.

The parties do not dispute the facts in this case. In 2009, the District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi sentenced Defendant to a period of incarceration to be followed by two years of supervised release for the sale of counterfeit obligations. Defendant's term of supervised release began on November 2, 2010. On June 6, 2012, the district court for the Northern District of Mississippi entered an order transferring jurisdiction of Defendant's supervised release to the Western District of Tennessee. On July 13, 2012, the District Court for the Western District of Tennessee consented to jurisdiction. However, the Clerk of the Court for the Northern District of Mississippi did not enter the order accepting jurisdiction from the District Court for the Western District of Tennessee until August 23, 2012.

Before jurisdiction was transferred, Defendant left the judicial district without permission from a probation officer on four occasions. Also before jurisdiction was transferred, Defendant was arrested twice for promoting prostitution. On August 21, 2012, a probation officer filed a Petition for Warrant or Summons for Offender Under Supervision in the District Court for the Western District of Tennessee alleging two supervised release violations against Defendant. The first violation alleged that Defendant was arrested in Nashville for promoting prostitution on January 6, 2012 and again June 27, 2012. The second violation alleged that Defendant violated his supervised release by leaving the judicial district without permission from a probation officer on January 6, 2012; April 12, 2012; June 27, 2012; and August 10, 2012.

At a hearing held on October 24, 2012, in the District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 to a supervised release violation. Defendant agreed to plead guilty to the second violation—involving leaving the judicial district without permission four times during supervised release. In exchange, the Government agreed to drop the first violation—involving the two arrests for promoting prostitution during supervised release. The Government recommended a thirteen-month sentence. Defendant waived his right to appeal if the district court accepted the Government's sentencing recommendation. At the hearing, the district court sentenced Defendant to thirteen months of incarceration. Defendant timely appealed to this Court.

On appeal, Defendant argues that his guilty plea is invalid because the violations upon which it was based occurred before jurisdiction of his supervised release had been transferred to the Western District of Tennessee. Alternatively, Defendant argues that his guilty plea is invalid because he was unaware of the potential issues with the district court's jurisdiction at the time he pleaded guilty. The Government argues that we should enforce Defendant's appellate waiver and dismiss this case. Because we hold that the district court had jurisdiction to revoke release and that Defendant's guilty plea was valid, we do not address the enforceability of the waiver.

We review de novo a district court's legal conclusions regarding jurisdiction. United States v. Slone, 411 F.3d 643, 646 (6th Cir. 2005). Title 18 U.S.C. § 3605 governs jurisdiction over releasees under supervision and states:

A court, after imposing a sentence, may transfer jurisdiction over a probationer or person on supervised release to the district court for any other district to which the person is required to proceed as a condition of his probation or release, or is permitted to proceed, with the concurrence of such court. A later transfer of jurisdiction may be made in the same manner. A court to which jurisdiction is transferred under this section is authorized to exercise al ...

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