The opinion of the court was delivered by: GUSTAVE DIAMOND
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(a)(1), the United States filed a motion with this court seeking revocation of a release order issued by a United States Magistrate Judge. The motion will be granted, detention will be ordered, and the following includes the court's findings of fact and statement of the reasons for detention as required by 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i).
Defendant Lee A. Chagra, Jr. was arrested in El Paso, Texas on March 16, 1994. The arrest was made after a federal grand jury in this district returned an indictment charging defendant with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and in excess of 100 kilograms of marihuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. The details of the alleged conspiracy will be fleshed out below, but generally it is asserted that defendant and others shipped between 100 and 150 kilograms of cocaine and approximately 1,000 pounds of marihuana from El Paso, Texas to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania between 1990 and February 1993.
After defendant's arrest, the government moved for detention of the defendant before trial. A detention hearing was held before United States Magistrate Judge Philip T. Cole of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on March 22, 1994. The magistrate judge denied the government's motion the following day, ordering that defendant be released after filing a corporate surety appearance bond in the amount of $ 100,000.00 and subject to certain conditions of release.
On the same day, March 23, 1994, the government filed its motion for review with this court, as the court having original jurisdiction over the offense, and the court granted the government's motion to stay the release order. Defendant was expeditiously transported to this district and a hearing was held on the motion on April 7, 1994.
Section 3145 of Title 18, United States Code, provides in pertinent part:
(a) Review of a Release Order -- If a person is ordered released by a magistrate, or by a person other than a judge of a court having original jurisdiction over the offense and other than a Federal appellate court -
(1) the attorney for the government may file with the court having original jurisdiction over the offense, a motion for revocation of the order or amendment of the conditions of release. . . .
The motion shall be determined promptly.
The Third Circuit has construed § 3145(a)(1) to confer broad discretion with the court of original jurisdiction to reexamine de novo all aspects of a release order. United States v. Delker, 757 F.2d 1390, 1394 (3d Cir. 1985).
The availability of pretrial release for a defendant is controlled by the Bail Reform Act of 1984 ("BRA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141-3150. Pursuant to statute, a defendant must be released on his personal recognizance or upon execution of an unsecured appearance bond unless the court determines that "such release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community." § 3142(b). Thus, the question is whether defendant presents either an unacceptable risk of flight or a danger to others. United States v. Sazenski, 806 F.2d 846, 848 (8th Cir. 1986). If, following a hearing, the judicial officer finds that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure defendant's appearance and the safety of any other person in the community, detention should be ordered. § 3142(e). The purpose of the detention hearing is to determine whether any condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant and the safety of any other person and the community. § 3142(f). In making that determination, the judicial officer must take into account the available information concerning:
(1) the nature and circumstance of the offense charged, including whether the offense is a crime of violence ...