United States v. Adams, No. 16-2786 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Adams, 71, has been addicted to opiates for most of his life and has an extensive criminal history. In 2011, Adams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, 21 U.S.C. 846 and 841(a)(1). After serving his custodial sentence, Adams began supervised release in July 2015. Starting in October 2015, Adams repeatedly tested positive for opiates.The Probation Office placed Adams in multiple drug-treatment programs, without success. After Adams tested positive for opiates three times between October 24 and November 15, 2016, the Probation Office filed another violation report. Following Adams’s failure of another drug test on November 30, it filed an amended report. At his hearing, Adams admitted that he unlawfully used controlled substances. The Guidelines range for the violation was incarceration of 21 to 27 months. After extensive discussion of Adams’s substance-abuse and the failure of treatment programs, the district court revoked Adams’s supervised release and sentenced him to 18 months of incarceration with no period of supervision to follow. The Sixth Circuit vacated the sentence. The court violated Adams’s due-process right when it based his sentence on unreliable information about rehabilitation and violated Supreme Court precedent, Tapia v. United States (2011), when it considered rehabilitation as a factor when calculating the length of incarceration.