A federal judge today denied compassionate early release for Joe "Profit" Simmons, sentenced to 7 years in prison in 2018 for selling crack at the Mildred Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain.
US District Court Judge Denise Casper concluded that Simmons has neither the sort of medical conditions that would worsen Covid-19 nor the proof that he wouldn't return to his criminal ways to warrant early release from a federal prison in New Jersey.
Simmons, 33, had asked for early release in advance of his scheduled Nov. 10, 2023 release, because he has "latent" tuberculosis and suffers from PTSD and that he was therefore at higher risk for a severe case of Covid-19 should he be infected with the virus.
But in her ruling, Casper writes that the CDC has listed neither of those conditions among its list of problems that would put people at higher risk for Covid-19 complications. She said Simmons is receiving counseling for his PTSD, stemming from childhood trauma, trauma that was used to help determine his sentence after he pleaded guilty. Also, his prison has not had a widespread Covid-19 outbreak.
Second, the Court also concludes that Simmons has failed to show that he is no longer a danger to the community. Without belaboring the point, Simmons, with a significant criminal history, was convicted and sentenced for a drug trafficking offense that warranted a sentence of 84 months. His prior criminal history includes prior drug distribution convictions and assault and battery convictions. Although his predicate offense here did not involve violence, it was an offense that reflects harm to the community. D Moreover, even as it did not involve violence, his prior criminal history included assaultive convictions and the issuance of abuse prevention orders. For all of these reasons, the Court cannot say that Simmons has made the requisite showing as to this element, particularly where he has served only about 40 months, or 48% of his sentence.
Casper continued that Simmons could have been declared a career criminal, which would have meant an even longer sentence.
Although the Court appreciates that Simmons continues to have some family support and has used his incarceration for the completion of steps toward rehabilitation, the balance of factors still weighs in favor of his service of the remainder of his sentence.
Simmons was one of nine men arrested on drug or gun charges in January, 2018 for incidents at Mildred Hailey.