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UNITED STATES v. MUHAMMAD ASKARI

May 1, 1985

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MUHAMMAD ASKARI



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HUYETT

HUYETT, J.

 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 In granting the government's motion, I make the following findings of fact pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i)(1).

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. On February 14, 1985, defendant Muhammad Askari a/k/a John Marshall Henry was indicted and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Appendix I, Section 1202(a)(1).

 2. On February 28, 1985, at defendant's initial appearance, the government moved for pretrial detention of defendant pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(f)(1)(D) on the grounds that defendant Askari is charged with a felony committed after he had been convicted of two prior crimes of violence: bank robbery and robbery. The government argued that there was no condition of release or combination of conditions which would reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community.

 3. At a detention hearing held on March 4, 1985, United States Magistrate Scuderi held that before he could order pretrial detention of a defendant he had to find that there was no condition or combination of conditions that would reasonably assure both the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community. Judge Scuderi then held that the government had failed to show that defendant Askari posed a serious risk of flight and therefore denied the government's motion for detention. The court set bail at $75,000/10% cash.

 4. On March 7, 1985, defendant filed a motion for reduction of bail. On March 12, 1985, the government filed a notice of appeal of the order denying its motion for detention.

 5. I held a de novo hearing on April 19, 1985 at which both the government and defendant presented evidence through written documents, oral testimony and proffer.

 6. Special Agent Forest G. Webb of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Philadelphia, PA testified as a witness for the government at the April 19, 1985 hearing. Agent Webb testified from his knowledge of the FBI records pertaining to defendant Askari and from his involvement in the investigation leading up to the present indictment of defendant Askari. Based on his forthright nature and his years of experiences with the FBI, I find him to be a credible witness.

 7. Defendant Askari has a lengthy criminal record which includes crimes of violence.

 8. On May 13, 1974, defendant Askari committed an armed robbery at the Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank, 5535 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Government Exhibits 1 and 2 ("G ").

 9. During the bank robbery, defendant Askari repeatedly threatened the lives of the people inside the bank. In addition to verbal threats, defendant's actions included holding a handgun on a bank guard, taking the guard's gun from its holster, giving the guard's gun to his accomplice, Rachael Williama Gilbert, and directing her to use it to cover the people in the bank while he confronted a teller and took $2,380.00.

 10. Defendant Askari entered a guilty plea to two counts of bank robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a), including taking $2,380.00 from the Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank "by force and violence, and by intimidation." G1.

 11. On July 18, 1974, defendant Askari was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Defendant was released ...


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