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United States v. Ringo

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 1, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
KAJUAN MARTIN RINGO, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO REVOKE DETENTION ORDER

ROBERT S. LASNIK, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on "Defendant Kajuan Ringo's Motion to Revoke Detention Order" (Dkt. # 107). The Defendant asks this Court to reverse the detention order issued by the Honorable Brian A. Tsuchida, United States Magistrate Judge. See Dkt. # 33. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of other persons and the community. Therefore, the Court DENIES the defendant's motion and orders defendant be detained pending trial.

BACKGROUND

On June 19, 2013, a grand jury indicted Mr. Ringo on a charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). Dkt. # 1. Mr. Ringo was arrested on July 11, 2013 in the Central District of California. Dkt. # 107. On the same day, he appeared at a detention hearing and arraignment before the Honorable Michael Wilner, Magistrate Judge. Dkt. # 18. Magistrate Judge Wilner ordered Mr. Ringo detained and removed to the Western District of Washington. Id . Once in this district, Judge Tsuchida ordered Mr. Ringo detained pending trial at a hearing on July 23, 2013, despite Pretrial Services' recommendation for release with conditions. Dkt. # 33. Judge Tsuchida found no conditions of release that would guarantee the safety of the community. Id.

On August 14, 2013, a grand jury returned a First Superseding Indictment charging Mr. Ringo with four criminal violations: Count One, conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and § 846; Count Two, distribution of oxycodone in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and § 841(b)(1)(C); Count Six, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and Count Seven, conspiracy to launder money in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h). Dkt. # 46. The Honorable Mary Alice Theiler, Magistrate Judge, ordered that Mr. Ringo's detention be continued on the same day. Dkt. # 48. On August 28, 2013, Mr. Ringo appeared before the Honorable Dean Brett, Magistrate Judge, for an arraignment on the charges from the First Superseding Indictment. Dkt. # 74. Mr. Ringo pled not guilty to all charges and was remanded to custody.

On October 3, 2013, Mr. Ringo filed a motion to revoke his detention order. Dkt. # 107. Mr. Ringo cites insufficient medical care for his heart condition as support for a release. Id . In addition, Mr. Ringo offers to have his release secured by his grandmother, who signed an affidavit of surety deeding her home, which has approximately $70, 000 to $100, 000 in equity. Dkt. # 107.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

The Court reviews the pretrial detention order of a magistrate judge de novo.[1] United States v. Koenig , 912 F.2d 1190, 1191 (9th Cir. 1990). Although the Court considers the evidence presented to the magistrate judge, it accords no deference to the magistrate judge's findings of fact and ultimate conclusion. Id . at 1193. The Court may also hold additional evidentiary hearings and consider evidence that was not before the magistrate judge. Id.

II. Bail Reform Act

The Bail Reform Act requires a court to order detention of a person pending trial upon finding, "that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community...." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). To prevent a defendant's release, the government must prove that a defendant is a danger to the community by clear and convincing evidence, or it must prove that a defendant is a flight risk by a clear preponderance of the evidence. United States v. Motamedi , 767 F.2d 1403, 1406 (9th Cir. 1985).

Pretrial detention should only be granted "in rare circumstances... and any doubts regarding the propriety of release should be resolved in the defendant's favor." United States v. Gebro , 948 F.2d 1118, 1121 (9th Cir. 1991). The Court may impose conditions that it deems necessary to guard against a defendant's flight or danger to the community. See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c). In deciding whether conditions could reasonably assure the defendant's appearance and the safety of the community, the Court evaluates four factors: "(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged...; (2) the weight of the evidence against the person; (3) the history and characteristics of the person...; and (4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g).

Section 3142(e) provides that a rebuttable presumption against pretrial release exists when a court finds probable cause that the defendant committed an offense under 21 U.S.C. § 841 or 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A)-(B). For purposes of § 3142(e), an indictment by a grand jury establishes probable cause triggering the presumption. See United States v. Ward , 63. F.Supp.2d 1203, 1209 (C.D. Cal. 1999). In order to rebut the presumption, the defendant must produce evidence that he does not pose a danger to the community or a risk of flight. United States v. Abad , 350 F.3d 793, 797 (8th Cir. 2003). Although the presumption shifts a burden of production to the defendant, the burden of persuasion remains with the government. United States v. Hir , 517 F.3d 1081, 1086 (9th Cir. 2008). The presumption is not erased when a defendant produces evidence to rebut it; rather the presumption ...


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