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United States v. Smith

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 13, 2020, Decided; April 13, 2020, Filed

No. 12 Cr. 133 (JFK)

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

JOHN F. KEENAN, United States District Judge:

Before the Court is an emergency motion by Phillip Smith for a sentence reduction to time served and release from the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn ("the MDC") or, in the alternative, for immediate transfer to home confinement or a halfway house, due to Smith's advanced age, compromised health, and his status as a "high-risk" inmate who is especially vulnerable to contracting the Coronavirus, COVID-19 ("COVID-19"). The Government does not contest that extraordinary and compelling reasons exist for Smith's immediate release, but rather, opposes his motion as untimely because Smith did not first fully exhaust all of his administrative rights by waiting 30 days after he sought compassionate release from the Warden of the MDC before seeking judicial intervention.

For the reasons set forth below, Smith's motion is GRANTED. He is to be released from [*2]  the MDC today, April 13, 2020, and his 36-month term of supervised release is to commence with the additional terms imposed below.

I. Background

On November 16, 2012, Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(b)(2), conspiracy to produce false identification documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(f), and aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. On April 10, 2013, the Court sentenced him to a term of imprisonment of 120 months, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. Smith has been incarcerated since January 13, 2012. To date, he has served over 98 months of his original 120-month sentence.

Smith is 62 years old and suffers from multiple physical ailments. He has been treated for, among other things, asthma, high cholesterol, blood clots, a thyroid condition, and suspected multiple myeloma (a cancer of the bone marrow). Smith is currently serving his sentence at the MDC where, as of April 13, 2020, four inmates and 12 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. See COVID-19 Cases, Federal Bureau of Prisons, https://www.bop.gov/coronavirus/ (last visited Apr. 13, 2020). The MDC has placed Smith on its list of "high-risk" inmates who are especially vulnerable [*3]  to contracting the disease.

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64371 *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -against- PHILLIP SMITH, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

sentence, required to exhaust, compassionate, BOP, exhaustion, inmates, waived, conditions, supervised release, halfway house, incarcerated, high-risk, reduction, scheduled, courts, compelling reason, emergency