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Man jailed over drug test freed, is warned

by Dale Ellis | February 13, 2021 at 3:17 a.m.

A Cross County man who was jailed last week after trying to pass off phony urine during a drug screen was allowed out of jail Friday under new restrictions and with a warning that any further infractions will land him back in prison.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris ordered Danny Keith Jeffrey, 35, of Wynne, to be remanded to home detention in the custody of his mother, Joyce Jeffrey, and to only be allowed to leave his home for work, substance-abuse treatment or required visits to federal and state probation officers, subject to the approval of Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr.

The U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock moved to revoke Jeffrey's supervised release after he was arrested and pleaded guilty to drug charges in Cross County.

Then last week, authorities said that Jeffery tried to submit a bogus urine specimen, using a prosthetic device and synthetic urine prior to a hearing before Marshall over whether Jeffery's release should be revoked. Ultimately, Jeffery did test positive for amphetamine use.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Marshall ordered Jeffrey jailed until another bond hearing could be scheduled in Harris' court to consider the merits of the government's revocation petition.

Darrell Brown, Jeffrey's attorney, told Harris that a joint agreement had been reached with the U.S. Attorney's office that all parties would accept Jeffrey being placed on home detention with electronic monitoring and Jeffrey's mother being named as third party custodian, pending Marshall's final approval.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Gardner confirmed her agreement.

"It's the parties intent that he be allowed to go to work because he is employed, or that he has been employed and will seek that employment again," she said.

Harris asked U.S. Probation Officer Cedric Conston if the proposal would be acceptable under federal guidelines for revocation of supervised release.

"I think he will be eligible for electronic monitoring along with intensive outpatient treatment as well," Conston said, noting that Jeffrey had been discharged unsuccessfully from drug treatment and had twice been discovered trying to fake a drug test.

"What other options are there?" Harris asked.

"Due to the continuous lack of progress I would say home incarceration," Conston replied. "That's because of his continuous drug use."

Gardner said the U.S. Attorney's office agreed with giving Jeffrey another chance because, she said, he was a low level methamphetamine dealer when he was arrested, and she agreed that his primary problem stemmed from drug use. But, she said, it would be the last chance he would receive from prosecutors.

"This is probably your last opportunity to comply with the conditions of your release," Harris warned Jeffrey. "If we have to do this again it is likely that you will be going back to prison."

Jeffrey was indicted along with four other people by a federal grand jury in June 2018 on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. On Oct. 8, 2019, he entered a plea of guilty to the conspiracy charge and on March 5, 2020, Jeffrey was sentenced to time served and placed on two years of supervised release.

Two of Jeffrey's co-defendants received prison terms in the case, one other was sentenced to time served and two years of supervised release, and the government moved to dismiss charges against a fourth co-defendant.

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