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United States v. Spurlock

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Lufkin Division

April 2, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JOHN T. SPURLOCK

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON PETITION FOR WARRANT FOR OFFENDER UNDER SUPERVISION

          Zack Hawthorn United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending is a “Petition for Warrant or Summons for Offender Under Supervision” filed March 6, 2018, alleging that the Defendant, John T. Spurlock, violated his conditions of supervised release. This matter is referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for review, hearing, and submission of a report with recommended findings of fact and conclusions of law. See United States v. Rodriguez, 23 F.3d 919, 920 n.1 (5th Cir. 1994); see also 18 U.S.C. § 3401(i) (2000); Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges.

         I. The Original Conviction and Sentence

         John T. Spurlock was sentenced on August 24, 2006, before The Honorable Gary Fenner, of the Western District of Missouri, after being found guilty of the following offenses: three counts of use of interstate facility to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity (Class B Felony); two counts of attempt to transfer obscene material to a minor (Class C Felony); and interstate travel to attempt to engage in sexual acts with a minor (Class B felony). The Class B felony offenses carry a statutory maximum imprisonment term of 30 years, and the Class C felony offenses carry a statutory maximum imprisonment term of 10 years. The guideline imprisonment range, based on a total offense level of 35 and a criminal history category of I, was 168 to 210 months. John T. Spurlock was subsequently sentenced to 168 months' imprisonment on four counts and 120 months' imprisonment on two counts, all to be served concurrently, followed by a term of life for supervised release subject to the standard conditions of release, plus special conditions to include: searches by the probation office at a reasonable time and place based upon reasonable suspicion of contraband or evidence of violation of a condition of release; no contact with persons under the age of 18, except in the presence of an approved, responsible adult; no possession or control of any matter that is pornographic or that depicts or alludes to sexual activity or depicts minors under the age of 18; polygraph testing while undergoing counseling; sex offender counseling; sex offender registration as directed by the probation office; no residence within close proximity to schools, parks, playgrounds, public pools, or other locations frequented by children; shall not possess or use any computer without prior approval by the probation office for employment; shall not possess or use any computer with access to any on-line service at any location without prior approval by the probation office; installation of hardware or software systems on his computer at his expense to monitor his computer use; and a $100 special assessment.

         II. The Period of Supervision

         On April 28, 2017, John T. Spurlock completed his period of imprisonment and began service of the supervision term.

         On July 17, 2017, his conditions of supervised release were modified as follows: the Defendant shall not purchase, possess, have contact with, or use devices to include cellular telephones with photographic capability; cellular telephones with internet capability; laptop computers (other than a computer approved by the probation office which may be subject to monitoring); ipods; personal digital assistants; portable data storage devices such as thumb drives and flash memory; or any other type of portable electronic device that is capable of communicating data via modem, wireless, or dedicated connection. The defendant shall also refrain from the purchase, possession, or use of digital cameras; digital records, or any other type of recording and/or photographic equipment.

         On February 5, 2018, jurisdiction of the instant case was accepted by the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division, and was assigned to the Honorable Ron Clark.

         III. The Petition

         United States Probation filed the Petition for Warrant for Offender Under Supervision raising two allegations. The petition alleges that John T. Spurlock violated the following conditions of release:

Allegation 1. The Defendant shall not possess or view any images in any form of media or in any live venue that depicts sexually explicit conduct. For the purpose of this special condition, the term “sexually explicit conduct” is as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2)(A), and is not limited to the sexual exploitation of children.
Allegation 2. The Defendant shall not purchase, possess, have contact with, or use devices to include cellular telephones with photographic capability; cellular telephones with internet capability; laptop computers (other than a computer approved by the probation office which may be subject to monitoring); ipods; personal digital assistants; portable data storage devices such as thumb drives and flash memory; or any other type of portable electronic device that is capable of communicating data via modem, wireless, or dedicated connection. The defendant shall also refrain from the purchase, possession, or use of digital cameras; digital records, or any other type of recording and/or photographic equipment.

         IV. Proceedings

         On March 28, 2018, the undersigned convened a hearing pursuant to Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to hear evidence and arguments on whether the Defendant violated conditions of supervised ...


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