Submitted: April 15, 2019
from United States District Court for the District of
LOKEN, WOLLMAN, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
2001, William Cecil Romig pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. He was sentenced to 264
months imprisonment, later reduced to 240 months, followed by
10 years of supervised release. Romig did not appeal. His
subsequent motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 did not challenge the conditions of supervised
release. In 2014, Romig filed a motion under 18 U.S.C. §
3583 challenging supervised release conditions. The district
court denied relief, concluding that a motion to modify the
conditions was unripe, and that "a defendant may
challenge the illegality of conditions of supervised release
only through a direct appeal, § 2255 habeas corpus
relief, or by bringing a motion to correct a sentence under
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35." United
States v. Romig, 2014 WL 1048390, at *2 (D. Minn. March
18, 2014). We summarily affirmed.
months before his scheduled release from prison, Romig filed
this § 3583(e)(2) motion to modify two special conditions
of supervised release:
1) The defendant shall submit to periodic drug testing and
participate in substance abuse treatment and aftercare as
directed by the probation office.
2) The defendant shall not associate with any member,
prospect, or associate of the Hell's Angels motorcycle
gang, or any other gang.
district court denied the motion, concluding that the
legality of supervised release conditions must be challenged
by a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 or Rule 35, and
declining to exercise its discretion to modify the challenged
conditions because they are necessary and reasonably related
to Romig's offense, criminal history, and offender
characteristics. Romig appeals. Concluding the court did not
abuse its broad discretion whether to modify conditions of
supervised release, we affirm. See United States v.
Davies, 380 F.3d 329, 332 (8th Cir. 2004) (standard of
1. The Substance Abuse Special Condition.
to his arrest and conviction, Romig was a regular drug user.
He has eight prior drug convictions, and in the offense of
conviction, Romig and five co-defendants were charged with
eighteen counts related to their roles in the drug
conspiracy. Prior to incarceration for this offense, Romig
used a quarter of a gram of methamphetamine a day. He
nonetheless challenges the special condition mandating
periodic drug testing and participation in substance abuse
treatment, arguing the condition is not based on
individualized findings because there is no evidence the risk
of substance abuse has not abated while he was in prison, and
the sentencing court's judgment form checked a box
stating the defendant "posed a low risk of future
not an abuse of discretion for the court to refuse to
eliminate the drug testing and substance abuse treatment
requirements. Section 3553(a) directs courts to consider the
need "to provide the defendant with needed educational
or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional
treatment in the most effective manner." Considering
Romig's personal use of methamphetamine, which began at
age 16, and his criminal history of drug abuse convictions,
it was not an abuse of discretion for the court to keep the
condition in place to prevent further drug abuse and to
provide for correctional treatment and rehabilitation.
The Hell's Angels Special Condition.
time of the offense of conviction, Romig was a
"prospect" for the Hell's Angels motorcycle
gang -- meaning he was not a full-fledged member but was in
the process of joining. At least one of his co-conspirators
also claimed to be a Hell's Angels prospect. Romig argues
that the special condition prohibiting him from associating
with Hell's Angels members or prospects is unrelated to
his offense and to his criminal and personal history, and is