United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
THERESA L. FRICKE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
COURT conducted a hearing under the Bail Reform Act, 18
U.S.C. § 3142(e), (g) on the government's Motion for
Detention (Dkt. 6) on December 17, 2019 and determined that
detention is appropriate because no condition or combination
of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of any other
person and the community or reasonably assure the
defendant's appearance in court as required.
defendant is charged in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Washington with six felony counts,
three of which are felony drug offenses with a maximum
sentence of ten years or more and three of which are related
firearms charges. Counts 1, 3, and 5 of the Complaint charge
Mr. Collins with possession with intent to distribute a
controlled substance-i.e., marijuana, alprazolam, cocaine,
and fentanyl-under 18 U.S.C. § 2; 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), (b)(1)(D). Counts 2, 4, and 6 charge
him with possession of a firearm in furtherance of each of
the three drug trafficking crimes charged in Counts 1, 3, and
5, under 18 U.S.C §§ 924(c)(1)(A).
defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence, and
under the Bail Reform Act, the Court is required to
determine-taking into full consideration the defendant's
constitutional rights and that the defendant is presumed
innocent-whether the defendant should nevertheless be
detained pending trial. United States v. Motamedi,
767 F.2d 1403, 1408 (9th Cir. 1985).
presumption of detention applies in Mr. Collins's
situation, because the Court is required by 18 U.S.C. §
3142(e)(3)(A), (B) to apply the presumption as to both
dangerousness and flight risk when a defendant is charged
with a felony drug offense with a maximum sentence of ten
years or more, or with possession of a firearm in furtherance
of a drug trafficking crime. Dkt. 1. The defendant bears the
burden of proffering evidence to overcome the presumption.
The government maintains the burden of persuading the Court
by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Collins is a
non-appearance risk, or by clear and convincing evidence that
Mr. Collins is a danger to the community. United States
v. Hir, 517 F.3d 1081, 1086 (9th Cir. 2008).
When the defendant offers evidence to rebut the presumption,
that does not mean the presumption is erased; the Court may
consider the presumption as an evidentiary finding that
militates against the defendant's release and weighs the
presumption along with all the factors listed in 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(g). Id.
the four factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) permit
this Court to consider the nature of the offense currently
charged, and the evidence of guilt, these factors are
considered only in the context of evaluating the likelihood
that the person will fail to appear or will pose a danger.
United States v. Motamedi, at 1408. Even if a
defendant poses a danger to others or to the community, the
defendant must be released when the Court determines there
would be a “condition or combination of conditions
[that] will reasonably assure. . .the safety of any other
person and the community.” United States v.
Hir, 517 F.3d 1081, 1091-92 (9th Cir. 2008).
defendant proffered evidence in this case, but has not
overcome the presumption of detention. The government met its
burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence an
extreme risk of flight or failure to appear. The government
has also met its burden of showing by clear and convincing
evidence that Mr. Collins presents a serious risk of
dangerousness to others and to the community.
risk of flight, Mr. Collins has an extensive history of
failure to appear in court in the past two years. The
Supplemental Pretrial Services Report (filed under seal)
shows that since 2018, Mr. Collins has had 16 arrest warrants
issued for failing to appear in Lakewood Municipal Court and
Pierce County Superior Court, nine of which were ordered in
the pending state proceedings related to the instant charges.
Dkt. 11, at 3-4. Furthermore, the Report and the
government's Complaint indicates an additional pattern of
fleeing from law enforcement, as Mr. Collins currently faces
charges in Pierce County Superior Court for attempting to
elude a police vehicle, and in the arrest forming the basis
for Counts 1 and 2, Mr. Collins attempted to flee from law
enforcement on foot. Dkt. 11, at 4; Dkt. 1, at 5. This
evidence shows that Mr. Collins has a pattern of disregarding
the authority of this Court and of the state courts, and it
establishes that Mr. Collins would likely be an extreme
flight risk and a serious risk of failure to appear if
released on supervision.
the potential risk of dangerousness, the nature and
seriousness of the current offenses indicate that Mr. Collins
is a danger to the community. Mr. Collins faces multiple
charges, not only in this court, but in state court, for
controlled substance and firearms violations. The current
offenses involve substantial quantities of dangerous drugs,
including fentanyl and other opiates. Dkt. 1, at 9-10. During
the prosecution of this charges, Mr. Collins has been
apprehended multiple times driving in the community with
stolen firearms and controlled substances, including on one
occasion where he was driving with his infant child to his
own court hearing. Dkt 1; Dkt. 11, at 4.
Court considered the defendant's proffer of evidence that
he has strong family support from his mother and girlfriend.
If he is released, his mother is willing to allow him to
return to her home in the period before his trial. Mr.
Collins argues that he is strongly motivated to care for his
and his girlfriend's small child.
Court is not persuaded that family support, combined with any
of the pre-trial restrictions that defendant proposes, would
be enough to ensure Mr. Collins's compliance with the
terms of release into the community. For the last two years,
Mr. Collins has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to
appear before the court when called. During this time, he has
allegedly participated in the distribution of dangerous,
illegal drugs, such as fentanyl and cocaine and has
repeatedly been apprehended with stolen weapons. Even with
the support of his friends and family, the evidence shows
that Mr. Collins is unlikely to alter his pattern of failing
to appear before the court and repeated alleged involvement
in dangerous criminal activities. The Court finds that ...