Criminal Justice

He Didn't Answer the Phone One Night While on House Arrest. He's Been Sent Back to Prison for Four Years.

Such punitive measures do not make society any safer.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) has labeled Jeffrey A. Martinovich an escapee.

That appears to be a rather loose definition. Convicted of white-collar crimes in 2013, the former investment broker was serving the remainder of his sentence on home confinement when authorities from a Newport News, Virginia, halfway house called to check in. He missed those calls, and for that, he has been sent back to federal prison for more than four years—despite the fact that electronic monitoring surveillance shows he was in his house that evening.

"He was at home, as required, the entire night," wrote his attorney, Trey Kelleter, in a petition to have the move overturned, according to the Daily Press. "If he committed that infraction, then we'll deal with that. But it's not an escape, and they know it….He shouldn't be going back to prison for not answering his phone for one night, when they know he was at home the whole time."

Martinovich has since been carted off to a jail in Oklahoma before the feds transfer him back to the Federal Correctional Institution, Beckley, in West Virginia, where he is slated to be until August 25, 2025.

The former broker, who is currently expecting a daughter in September with his fiancée, served the bulk of his 13-year and eight-month sentence though May of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a wave of releases for certain prisoners. On May 31 of this year, unable to reach him via phone, the halfway house attempted to activate an alert on his ankle device. That function was down, according to the Press.

So an employee from the institution called the Norfolk police, who paid Martinovich's house a visit. The officers mistakenly believed the residence to be the halfway house itself, so after arriving around midnight and knocking gingerly—failing to wake up and speak with Martinovich—they left the premises.

"Dude who runs [the halfway house] is probably asleep," said one of the officers.

Even still, the government officials confirmed that the monitoring showed Martinovich was where he was supposed to be—his house. The device was not altered or messed with, per evidence from the FBP. But the agency proceeded with its conclusion regardless: He had "escape[d]," and thus deserves to spend years more behind bars after the government has already concluded he is not a threat to society.

Such punitive measures seem almost fantastical. Yet Martinovich has company. Gwen Levi attracted significant public attention last month after she, too, was deemed to have "escaped"—after attending an in-person word processing class. During the session, she missed a call from officials and was subsequently sent back behind bars. Levi, who was originally imprisoned on drug charges, was ultimately set free after a public outcry, though it remains to be seen if Martinovich will be lucky enough to witness the birth of his daughter.

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  1. Was it Hillary Clinton calling at 3 AM? I wouldn’t answer that either.

    1. Ambassador Stevens would still be alive if youtube had been censoring videos when she was SecState.

    2. Notice the commies at unreason always pick the worst examples of govt overreach.

      Jan6 protesters denied their 8th guaranteed right to non excessive bail… unreason commies dont write anything about that.

      Unreason commies posing as LINOs pick crappy defendant to try to wreck criminal justice system…check. This douche pled guilty to fraud and then violated the contractual terms of his supervised release…unreason commie upset.

      Meanwhile hundreds of federal defendants extorted into pleading guilty instead of jury trials so that judges can give ridiculous sentences that defendants “agree” to avoid outrageous prison sentences.

  2. Putting people in prison is bad in the same way “border enforcement” is bad — it reduces the labor force available to billionaire employers like’s benefactor Charles Koch.


  3. What does make society safer is keeping a lock on border security and not letting in infected foreigners without knowing who they are or where they came from, but because they know to ask for asylum no matter what they get a free pass.

    But fancy liberaltarians with their pinky out holding the cocktail glass by the stem and moaning about one guy and the unfairness of it all will certainly make all the difference.

    Oh how is the whole private companies thing working out now, since the Biteme admin decided to unmask their real intentions? Still think Trump got booted off social media by individual free speech decisions of corporations, or not?

  4. This is why the Capitol trespassers are locked in solitary confinement without bail. We can’t trust criminals not to flee justice.

    1. Only some trespassers.
      More recent trespassers, with the proper political loyalties, were immediately released.

      1. Having the magic (D) behind your name means you aren’t a terrorist and can be trusted not to foment the wrong sort of political changes.

  5. That’s nothing.

    The White House admitted on national television yesterday that they’re flagging pages and posts for Facebook to delete.

    “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the surgeon general’s office,” Psaki said. “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook”

    —-Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary

    1. Who is going to be the director of the America’s “Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment”?

      1. CNN and New Yorker magazine analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Think he could rise to the occasion and handle this with the appropriate touch.

        1. Is he the Zoom meeting penis flasher? Solid choice.

          1. Yup. Some on here would no doubtably be pulling for him.

            1. Lol

      2. Joe Biden is a disgrace.

        He justified censoring Facebook with the claim that if he didn’t, people would die.

        This should be an impeachable offense.

        It’s like The Alien and Sedition Acts never happened.

        The Sedition Act of 1798 criminalized making false statements against the government.

        The White House and the CDC are setting the standards for what people are and aren’t allowed to say online. It’s indefensible from a libertarian perspective. Better get some ketchup out because the staff at Reason are about to feast on crow.

        1. Reporter: “On Covid misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook ?”

          Joe Biden “The only pandemic we’re having is among the unvaccinated. They’re killing people.”

          Even if that were true, that isn’t a justification for knowingly and purposely violating both the First Amendment and Biden’s presidential oath.

          “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

          —-Oath of office for the President of the United States

          He violated the Constitution instead, and he did it on purpose.

          1. The government always tries to control speech via the latest form of communication. Radio, got to control that shit. TV, got to control that shit. Social Media, literally killing people. History suggests the people will let them.

          2. I’m pretty sure that for the my 60+ year lifetime “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” is interpreted as “keeping the original document safely locked up and guarded”, with nothing to do with the words therein.

            1. I think this violation is especially egregious.

              Bush Jr. and Obama violating the rights of hundreds of millions of Americans by tracking their phone calls and emails without a warrant was bad–but at least they were ashamed of it.

              When Snowden ratted out the Obama administration, he wisely fled the country for fear of Obama’s wrath.

              When Biden violates our First Amendment rights, he doesn’t try to hide it–he brazenly has his press secretary announce it to the world–and takes questions about why it’s his policy to violate our First Amendment rights on his way to the helicopter on the North lawn of the White House?

              This is like that time he bragged on camera about withholding foreign aid until they finally shut down the investigation into his son. When the Unabomber tried to murder dozens of people, he hid in the sticks. When Stalin murdered tens of millions of people, he said, “One death is a tragedy, but a million is a statistic”.

              Which one is worse?

              It isn’t just the enormity of the crime. It’s also the brazenness. Biden is practically campaigning on a future promise to violate the free speech rights of people who disagree with the government.

              That’s unacceptable.

        2. But when the Bushpigs were scrubbing reporters journals during the Iraq War you were okay with that.

      3. You misspelled “Ministry of Truth”.

    2. Once again, the question is:

      Is Facebook free to refuse these requests?

      1. Once again, government should not be even asking anyone to curtail their 1A rights. If the WH has time to read random FB posts then those folks doing this can have their positions eliminated to reduce the deficit.
        Given that FB monitors their users’ content and hadn’t censored the material on their own AND given that FB is facing anti-trust sanctions by the same government the answer is, “not really.”

      2. They are not. The must comply or face antitrust. The threat has already been made in public.

        1. And the threats was made in writing by Lina Khan, whom Biden appointed to chair the FTC–which is suing to break them up.

          1. Just of the record, Lina Khan was one of the primary authors of a report for the House Democrats, a report in which they went through each big tech company and made arguments about how they should be broken up, on a case by case basis, and why they should be broken up. This is what they wrote about Facebook on page 14 of 450:

            “In the absence of competition, Facebook’s quality has deteriorated over time, resulting in worse privacy protections for its users and a dramatic rise in misinformation on its platform.”

            —-Majority Staff Report, November 2020


            (Bold added)

            One of the primary authors of that report was none other than Lina Khan, who was appointed by Biden to be chair of the FTC–which is suing to break up Facebook. To pretend that Facebook isn’t deleting posts and pages at the behest of the Democratic party, at this point, for fear of being broken up, is like arguing that a cashier gave a bank robber the contents of her register of her own free will–rather than because the bank robber was pointing a gun at her face.

            Denying obvious shit like this is one of the reasons we know that some progressives prefer to make fools of themselves in public rather than admit the obvious.

        2. Where is this threat, i.e., “you must block these 12 people otherwise you will face a punishment specifically related to a refusal to adhere to this demand”?

          1. Gosh I wonder… Oh what’s this? An anti-monopoly bill? It sure would be a bummer if we let that through, huh.

            1. Again you’re making these cynical, conspiratorial, cloak-and-dagger type of ‘arguments’. They are rooted in cynicism and paranoia, not reason.

              Is there a connection between the antitrust suits and the desire to ban these 12 Facebook posters? If not, then one cannot said to be a form of leverage to enact the other. If the antitrust suits are going to go on regardless of what Facebook does or does not do about these 12 individuals, how can the antitrust suits be considered a threat?

    3. And here is another possibility for you all to consider.

      What if the White House gives Facebook a list of people that they want to see banned, and Facebook does so, willingly and voluntarily, without coercion, without threats – but because they voluntarily choose to do so?

      It is creepy, for sure. But should it be illegal? Would this violate the Constitution?

      If you think this is problematic enough that it should be banned or restricted, how would you do so in a way that wouldn’t ban all forms of potential cooperation between the government and private entities?

      1. Just for the sake of argument. They already block content at the governments request. Child porn, credible threats of violence, etc. Those reasons we accept. Granted those aren’t considered protected speach regardless of media or platform.

        I don’t think the government has any business even asking outside of the already established limits to speech. The simple act of asking is limiting speech.

      2. Hyper-partisan fascists say you may NOT (even as a privately-owned entity) listen to (or agree with) Government Almighty persuasion!!! You MUST (under penalty of being excluded from the Tribe of the Cool Kids) do and think the EXACT opposite of what Government Almighty tells you to do… When MY tribe is NOT pulling the strings of Government Almighty! If my tribe is IN power, shit gets inverted, of course!

        The question that (IMHO) does NOT get asked often enough is: If you desperately want to read whatever lie (Or truth for that matter)… Covid can be cured by cow piss and cow urine… … Or, Der TrumpfenFuhrer LOVES US more than we will ever know… Does ANYONE, really, truly, in the USA, believe that they can NOT access this “information”? Despite FaceBook etc. supposedly getting in the way? You can NOT easily Google your lies, and find them, at will? You look for your favored lies, and can not find them ANYWHERE? REALLY, now? (I call bullshit!)

        1. Sqrlsy argues for government censorship while claiming he’s arguing against government censorship.

          This retard is so fucking dishonest. Yesterday when I said book banning, he pretended I said book-burning instead, and then demanded to know when big tech had literally “burned books”.

          The freak is as big a liar as chemjeff.

          1. Is there ANYONE in the USA who can NOT freely access the lies of Alex Jones and Der TrumpfenFuher? Did any books by Alex Jones and-or Der TrumpfenFuher get banned? Like, holding or reading their books will be PUNISHED? If so… Citation please!

            Crybaby didn’t answer ANY of the questions! NONE of them!

            I’m still waiting, Crybaby!

            MammaryBahnFuhrer will NOT repeat and endorse the truths that I write to her! MammaryBahnFuhrer is BANNING my words!!! Help! I’m being repressed!

      3. If I outsource my murder, am I a criminal?

      4. Followup question, if Trump told his supporters to storm the capitol, did he incite a riot?

        1. Important question to answer your question:

          Are we talking morally-ethically (is Trump a moral-ethical quagmire personified, and benevolent and wise people should NEVER even think about voting for Him, EVER again)? Then my answer is “yes”!

          Are we talking legally (is Trump a horrible criminal, for inciting riots with His “free speech”, and should He be jailed, punished etc., at taxpayer expense)? IMHO, “no”! Punishing dicktatorshits for clinging to the dicktarshitatorial powers ENCOURAGES other dictatorshits to cling all that much more! So HELL NO! Let Him GO, for the sake of future peace and tolerance!

          “What do you mean” by XYZ (“guilty”, implying punishable by WHAT means, for “inciting a riot”, for example) is very often a VERY important question to ask!

          1. That was so amazingly dishonest. When you read Peck’s book, The People Of the Lie, you took it as a How-To guide.

            1. Anyway, answer the fucking question Sqrlsy.

              1. Well duh! HELL Yes, He helped incite a riot! Double-duh!

                Americans (Canuckistanistanistanistanistanian moose-fuckers excluded) should “punish” Him for that, by NOT voting for Him! But NOT punish Him legally!

                Can you READ, moosefucker from Inner Islamic Canuckistanistanistanistanistan?!?!?!

      5. Ever heard of a “chilling effect”?
        “Government overreach”?
        “Constitutional rights?”

        1. You mean like during the Red Scare, when the government made the studios deplatform [blacklist] actors, directors, and writers–under threat of breaking up the studio system via antitrust?

          Never heard of it.

          P.S. The Hollywood blacklist amid the Red Scare was just the studios exercising their right to freedom of association.

  6. Apparently the Biden administration is following the spirit of his 1994 crime bill, and V.P. Harris’s tough on crime mantra.

    1. Yes, Joe and Kam are just police state lovers who hate the blaek victims of police.

      Or they want to defund the police. takes both positions.

      1. Hillary called them superpredators.

        1. So? That may have been the single most honest thing she ever said.

  7. In other constitutional news, DACA was just invalidated by a federal judge in Texas.

    Turns out there’s this thing called the enumerated powers of Congress, which separates the powers of Congress from the powers of the president. Anyway, setting the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of Congress–no matter what Barack Obama and the silly people at MSNBC say.

    In practice, this probably means that they’ll simply push this through Congress now, which is the way it should be. This is probably the best thing that could have happened for the dreamers. So long as their presence here was predicated on an unconstitutional executive order, it was precarious.

    Reps and Sens in purple and red states and districts weren’t about to take a stand to save the dreamers if they didn’t need to stick their necks out, and so long as DACA was in effect, there was no reason to stick their necks out for the dreamers. Now that DACA is gone–IF IF IF that’s what happens, expect Congress to finally do something to save the dreamers with the Democrats in charge.

    P.S. I maintain that the primary reason why asylum seekers flooded to the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras after DACA was because of DACA. Before DACA, there were less than 1,000 asylum seekers from those three countries a year combined. During the Trump administration, at one point, 80% of the people asking for asylum were either children or families traveling with children. Only progressives are too stupid to understand that when you publicly promise not to deport children, it creates an incentive for people to send their children here.

    1. P.P.S. When 80% of the people seeking asylum from those countries were children or families traveling with children, there were more than 100,000 arriving per month.

    2. DACA was just invalidated

      Isn’t this something like the third or fourth time?

      1. The last I’d heard, the Supreme Court kicked the constitutionality of the EO canceling the DACA EO back to the Trump administration and asked them for a clearer justification. They were just looking to kick the can down the road until after the election in 2020. It became a non-starter when Biden won . . . until now.

  8. Let’s all be honest for a minute. If you could throw someone in jail for not returning your calls, wouldn’t you?

    1. Who makes actual telephone calls anymore?
      Mostly just telemarketers and bill collectors.

      1. They deserve drone strikes, but they spoof other people’s numbers so the collateral damage risk is high.

      2. Are you aware that your car’s extended vehicle warranty is about to expire?

        1. Love that one. Sometimes I try to get a warranty on my Stutz Bearcat. Occasionally on a Packard.

  9. Gallup: Only 45% Of Republicans Believe In Science>/I>

    Vs 67% of Democrats and 73% of independents

    Conservatives have hated science since they began their own colleges to push the Biblical nonsense they spew.

    1. Bipartisan support against science.

    2. I don’t know. People that run around saying the science is settled when someone challenges a claim isn’t really supporting science.

      Science has no problem about being challenged.

      1. The whole point of the scientific method is challenging claims and replication.

        Buttplug doesn’t understand this. His “science” is a group of beliefs rather than a methodology, which makes it really a religion.

        1. Maybe it should be called scientology. Wait, never mind.

    3. 100% of Democrats believe anything someone in a white lab coat tells them. They fucking love science.

      47% of Republicans believe anything someone in a white lab coat tells them. They don’t believe in science.

    4. Science isn’t something you “believe in”.
      It’s a method for examining facts and increasing our understanding.
      Neither is it “settled” or determined by consensus.

      100 German scientists wrote a book against Einstein’s theories when he first rose to prominence. The media asked him how he could stand by his theories if 100 top scientists doubted them.
      “If they could prove me wrong, they would only need 1 scientist” Einstein pointed out.

      1. It’s a method for examining facts and increasing our understanding.

        And conservatives suck at that.

        1. Lol. You didn’t understand a lick of what CE said, did you.

          1. He doesn’t use methods to examine facts or increase his understanding.

    5. It’s impressive that you can post that while wearing 6 masks.

    6. Exactly what it says on the tin. Democrats treat science as a religion, something one “believes” in. Chanting mantras handed down from the priestly class, without an actual understanding of what’s involved.

      I don’t “believe” in science either. I *think* something is either true or not based on the scientific evidence.

      And the actual poll question was about the “institution” of science, not the scientific method. Which you must have known because obviously you wouldn’t have just parroted a sensationalist headline, and actually went and read the poll question, right? Because that would be the scientific thing to do. So I can only presume that you’re being intentionally dishonest here, and not just a dupe.

      1. “I don’t “believe” in science either. I *think* something is either true or not based on the scientific evidence.”

        Science is process for creating knowledge. Knowledge is not automatically truth.

        Most importantly knowledge, in and of itself, does not tell you what to do. Science, at best gives you an is. Science alone cannot give you an ought.

        Put simply – descriptives are not prescriptives.

    7. “Science” or “the science” is now a slogan. Like “choice”, “minority”, “values”, “correct”, “native”, and “gender”, it does not mean what you think it means.

  10. He Didn’t Answer the Phone One Night While on House Arrest. He’s Been Sent Back to Prison for Four Years.

    Do I have to read the article and do my own investigative journalism to find out that the real story was he was raping someone while not answering the phone?

    1. White collar crime:

      Jeffrey Martinovich will be sent to a halfway house this month and then will serve time in home confinement, according to an email notice the Federal Bureau of Prisons sent last week to an investor who testified against him.

      Martinovich was convicted on 17 of 25 fraud counts in 2013, after Peninsula investors testified that they lost more than $1 million each that they had entrusted to him.

      A federal jury found that he got money from investors after giving them false statements about the value of his funds’ assets. He was also convicted of several counts of money laundering. He received an 11-year, 8-month sentence.

      In 2016, he was sentenced to an additional 2 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge that he had used investors’ funds to cover his costs from the 2013 trial.


      In a handwritten request for release, Martinovich cited his concerns about exposure to the coronavirus, noting that the West Virginia prison where he is incarcerated is “packed with aging extremely unhealthy gentlemen … similar to city jails, nursing homes and the U.S.S. Roosevelt.”

      He said that he is particularly at risk from the virus because of his age, 54, a history of cancer, current treatment for an eye disease and injuries received when he fell out of bed while at a New Jersey federal prison.

      Federal prosecutors objected, saying Martinovich had not completed the Bureau of Prisons’ review for such release, and that he presented no medical facts or records to support his claim that he was at heightened risk from the virus.

      “Unfortunately, this defendant is attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to obtain his long-sought release from the sentences justly imposed against him” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels wrote in a court filing objecting to Martinovich’s release.

      “This unrepentant defendant who has been convicted of serious crimes including fraud and money laundering and shown himself to be unwilling to be rehabilitated is not an appropriate candidate for release,” Samuels added.

      1. Steal 25 million dollars, get 4 years of house arrest.
        Steal 2500 dollars, get 4 years in the state pen.

  11. Sounds like a reasonable deterrent to white collar criminals trying to dodge the terms of their house arrest.

  12. more right wing terrorism:

    Two Trump fanatics who abused steroids and had access to a disturbing home arsenal plotted to blow up a Democratic building in the wake of Biden’s win—and even reached out to the Proud Boys for help, according to new indictments unsealed Thursday.

    According to court documents filed by DOJ attorneys in the Northern District of California, Ian Benjamin Rogers, 45, of Napa, and Jarrod Copeland, 37, of Vallejo started plotting to attack Democratic targets as early as November, after former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. They also contacted anti-government groups with the hopes of rallying them to commit similar acts of violence and overthrow the government, the indictment alleges.

    Through a messaging app, the pair had discussed using “Molotov cocktails and gasoline,” to take out the California governor’s mansion as early as Nov. 25, according to court documents.

    1. Thankfully no fire extinguishers were found.

      1. # of buildings burned by peaceful protests: too many to count.

        # of buildings burned by Trump fanatics: 0

  13. 47% of West Coast Dems, 66% of Southern Republicans Want to Secede From U.S.

    Put it up for a vote. When Southern Republicans find out they will be cut off from the federal hand-out gravy train they will beg to come to Washington DC’s money train.



    1. So they should remain slaves to your form of governance.

      Sounds like your fantasy world, you fucking pile of human garbage.

    2. The conservatives are conservative only when it comes to those truly in need (e.g., the impoverished). With corporate welfare, however, they are liberal; with polluting the environment, they are very liberal.

  14. Give him a month in prison just to show who’s boss, then restore the original conditions of his release. That’s my initial reaction, but I haven’t checked the details of his crime.

    1. Wow, he stole a *lot* of money, didn’t he? Maybe I should reconsider my lenient attitude…

      1. Yeah, the dude is like Bernie Madoff lite.

  15. “On May 31 of this year, unable to reach him via phone, the halfway house attempted to activate an alert on his ankle device. That function was down, according to the Press.”

    So basically, 4 years because of a computer failure?

    1. Finding yourself at the mercy of government run systems is all the more reason to not steal millions of dollars.

      I’m finding it really hard to muster a single fuck for this guy, and ever more disgusted by Reason’s ability to selectively focus their outrage on stupid shit while turning a blind eye to so many other more egregious and purposeful abuses.

      Performative libertarianism by poorly closeted progressives.

    2. I agree.

      He deserved prison, but if they originally decided he’s not a community risk and can be on home confinement, it shouldn’t be reversed because of government incompetence.

  16. You read of situations like this, and hear of other similar Kafkaesque situations, and then continue to be amazed and dismayed by other happenings . . . .

    WHY are you amazed?

  17. It’s pretty disingenuous to use the vague phrase “convicted of white collar crimes.” That’s the verbiage of someone who doesn’t want to reveal what Martinovich did.

    He was convicted of money laundering and fraud and ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution to victims.

    In the modern society, these “white collar” criminals are often more responsible for destroyed lives and misery than a mere burglar or someone who committed felony assault.

    He was sent home due to COVID, not because he was such a great guy, and I have zero problem with him being hauled back in to serve the rest of his sentence where he belongs.

  18. If monitoring showed that he was home, why did they call him in the first place? Just to annoy him? Perhaps they might wake him up, and that would show him!

    1. They discovered his car’s extended warranty was about to expire and were calling to inform him.

  19. He is serving out his full term, nothing more. Early release is a policy intended to improve outcomes, not a right that criminals have.

  20. “It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.”
    —Childhood Disrupted, pg.228.

  21. Telemarketers shoving mandatory health insurance 24/7 trashcanned Bummercare. Now ignoring telemarketers and get-out-the-vote phone banks sends people to prison. This is the result of voting tax subsidies to looter (GOP/Dem) party campaigns.

  22. Putting people in prison is bad in the same way “border enforcement” is bad — it reduces the labor force available to billionaire employers like’s benefactor Charles Koch.

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