Former Department of Corrections officer Eugene Meno Sunega will remain on supervised release for at least another month following a hearing in the District Court on Thursday before Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.
He served 57 months in a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility after being convicted of promoting prison contraband, specifically methamphetamine, in 2015 while employed as a DOC officer.
Sunega faced the possibility of being sent back to prison after failing to report for multiple drug tests since he was placed on supervised release.
The judge gave him 30 more days to “show the court he can comply” with the court's conditions.
Defense attorney Briana Kottke told the court that her client is now being monitored for drug use with a patch as opposed to reporting to probation for testing. She said Sunega had difficulty in checking in with probation because of the hours of his employment and the responsibility of caring for an ill family member.
She told the court her client has made “great strides” in counseling and now has a “positive track record.”
A federal Probation Office officer present at the hearing confirmed Sunega had tested negative for drug use five times, including on the morning of the hearing.
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood told Sunega she will allow him to remain free because he is being tested for drug use through the patches but warned him that he must adhere to all conditions of his release.
A hearing on his petition for revocation of supervised release was set for March 30.