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Feds: CT man gets additional year for cutting off GPS bracelet … – CT Insider

A Woodstock man was sentenced to an additional year in federal prison, after he failed to show up to prison on drug charges, federal authorities said.
A Woodstock man is facing an additional year behind bars after he failed to surrender himself to prison authorities to begin serving a sentence on drug charges last March, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut said. 
Andre “Dre” Smith was sentenced on Jan. 12, 2022, to more than three years in prison and was required to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility on March 23.
But federal authorities said four days before he was supposed to show up, Smith, 43, cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet he was required to wear while out on $50,000 bond. He turned himself in to U.S. Marshals on June 14, nearly 11 weeks after he was supposed to report to prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
He’s been in custody ever since.
Smith had been sentenced in U.S. Court in Hartford to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release for “conspiring to distribute cocaine and crack in eastern Connecticut,” the office said in a news release. 
Thursday, Smith was sentenced to an additional 12 months and one day for failing to report to prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 11. 
In his sentencing memo, Smith’s attorney wrote that his client didn’t report to prison because he had tried to attend his son’s high school graduation. His son took the news “hard” that Smith couldn’t be there due to his incarceration, Attorney Frank Riccio wrote in the court filing. Also, another family member who would have attended died before the ceremony, the court filing said. 
“Mr. Smith wanted to personally support his son at the graduation,” the attorney wrote. “Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the ceremony because he could not get a ride.” 
He asked the court for a three month sentence for his client, whom he said grew up in a “crime-infested” project in the Bronx and dropped out of school after watching a friend die in a knife attack.
But federal prosecutors argued in their sentencing memo that Smith was a “danger to the community,” citing his last two convictions on federal and state drug charges and a state conviction while on pre-trial release for fleeing a car crash.
“His decision to not appear, whatever the reason, evidences that deterrence is needed, both to deter the defendant from continued disrespect for the law and the court’s orders, but also to deter others who might decide that a little more time of freedom is worth breaching the court’s trust,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha M. Freismuth wrote in the government’s memo.
Peter Yankowski is a breaking news reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group. He was previously a reporter for the Danbury News-Times and the Ridgefield Press.


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