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United States v. Wiedenmann

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 20, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JACOB K WIEDENMANN, Defendants.

          DETENTION ORDER

          THERESA L. FRICKE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER concerns the release or detention of the defendant under the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3142. The defendant was indicted on June 6, 2019 with: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine (Count 1) and Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute (Count 2). Dkt. 1, Indictment, p. 1-2.

         At the hearing, the government appeared through Assistant United States Attorney Andre Penalver. The defendant appeared personally and was represented by counsel, Allyson Bqarker. The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office appeared through United States Probation Officer Nick Bassett, and filed both pretrial and supplemental reports. Dkts. 9, 22.

         IT IS ORDERED that the defendant: Shall be detained pursuant to The Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3142.

         The Court reviewed the documents in the electronic docket for this matter, including the allegations in the Indictment, and considered the arguments and information presented during the hearing. The defendant is charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. § 846, and Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B); 18 U.S.C. § 2. Dkt. 1, p. 1-2. These charges trigger a rebuttable presumption of detention, that “no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A). The presumption shifts the burden of production to the defendant. United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d 1081, 1086 (9th Cir. 2008). However, the prosecution retains the burden of persuasion, Id., and the Bail Reform Act recognizes that release should be the normal course, with “detention prior to trial or without trial [a] carefully limited exception.” United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 755 (1987).

         If the defendant proffers evidence to rebut the statutory presumption, the Court must consider the presumption weighed with the other factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) to determine if detention should be ordered. United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d at 1086. The factors considered are (1) the nature and seriousness of the charges, (2) the weight of the evidence against the defendant, (3) the history and characteristics of the defendant, 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)(1)-(4).

         If there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant poses a danger to others and to the community, or there is a preponderance of the evidence showing that the defendant is a flight risk or may fail to appear for court hearings, the Court must next analyze whether there is a “condition or combination of conditions [that] will reasonably assure . . . the safety of any other person and the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e); United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d at 1092-93. If no such conditions are found, then the presumption is not rebutted and the defendant shall be detained.

         A. Factors Under 18 U.S.C. § 3142

         (1) Nature and Seriousness of the Charges

         In this case, the charges brought against the defendant-conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute-are serious. Dkt. 1, p. 1-2. Defendant is charged, with his co-defendant, of conspiracy to distribute at least 550 grams-over one pound-of a substance containing methamphetamine. Id. Defendant is also charged with possession of more than 50 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine. Id. Further, after the arrest of the defendant, law enforcement received information that the defendant discarded a firearm under a bridge. Dkt. 22, p. 2. Upon inspection of the location, law enforcement discovered a bag containing a firearm and methamphetamine. Id. During the detention hearing, the prosecution noted the gun is being tested for fingerprints but, at this time, the defendant is not charged with any gun-related offenses. Dkt. 1.

         Considering the quantity of methamphetamine involved and the charge against the defendant of conspiracy and participation in an operation to distribute methamphetamine, the Court determines the charges against the defendant are serious.

         (2) Weight of the Evidence

         At this stage in the criminal proceedings, it is difficult to assess the weight of the evidence, and the Court does not rely heavily on this factor in ...


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