Demetrius Anderson is officially a free man.
The 43-year-old Philadelphia native, who was facing the prospect of additional prison time after federal officials last month said he was mistakenly released in 2006, has been credited with time served, allowing him to continue living the life he’s built for himself in Connecticut.
U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond on Thursday granted a joint motion filed this month by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Anderson’s attorneys, who asked the judge to consider his prison sentence to be satisfied and spare him any period of belated probation.
“The parties agree that given Anderson’s time at liberty without any arrests or criminal convictions, there would be no significant interest served by requiring him to serve a three-year period of supervised release at this time,” their motion read.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said after the filing that the circumstances surrounding Anderson’s case — including the amount of time since his mistaken release, his efforts to rebuild his life, and the fact that “the government wasn’t totally blameless here” — led prosecutors to conclude that “it didn’t serve any purpose" to send Anderson back to prison.
“We’re happy that Mr. Anderson has turned his life around, and he deserves to be a free man at this point,” he added.
Anderson could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but one of his attorneys, Michael Dolan, said Anderson was “ecstatic.” Dolan said he was “glad that the U.S. attorney … came around to our position that it would’ve been unjust for Mr. Anderson to have to serve any additional time.”
Anderson, who grew up in Philadelphia, was arrested last month by U.S. marshals at his New Haven apartment.
The marshals said an internal audit discovered that Anderson had been mistakenly freed early from a Connecticut prison in 2006, where he had been serving a three-year sentence for forgery counts unrelated to federal charges he faced in Philadelphia. Authorities said Anderson owed an additional 16 months behind bars. .
In Anderson’s original federal case from Philadelphia, he pleaded guilty in 2005 to using counterfeit money worth just over $4,100 at the Ikea store in Plymouth Meeting and Cherry Hill Mall, and attempting to use someone else’s identity to buy cars in Philadelphia. The prison term in that case was supposed to begin after he finished his sentence in Connecticut.
But after officials there allowed Anderson to walk free, he began rebuilding his life in New Haven — working several jobs, living on his own, and finding what he called a church family.
The joint motion filed by prosecutors and Anderson’s attorneys shed more light on the circumstances surrounding his release, saying the marshals had lodged a detainer against him while he was imprisoned in Connecticut, which should have prevented him from being freed. But in November 2006, Anderson was released from custody, the motion says, which federal authorities were unaware of “until late 2018 or early 2019.”
McSwain said that Anderson’s release was a mistake by Connecticut officials, but that federal officials were not without blame because it took so long to discover the error. Those facts contributed to the decision by his office to resolve Anderson’s case, McSwain said.
Although Anderson will not have to serve additional time in prison or on probation, he will be required to pay back the $4,140 connected to his counterfeiting crimes.
Diamond, the Philadelphia judge, canceled a hearing scheduled to take place before him in May.