The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD CONABOY, Senior District Judge
Before the Court is Bradley Ostrander's ("Defendant") Motion
For Release Pending Trial. This Court held a hearing on the
motion on September 6, 2005.
For the reasons stated herein, the motion for bail will be
denied and the Defendant will be ordered detained.
The Defendant was charged in June of 2004 by way of a
Superseding Indictment with two counts of criminal conduct, one
of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and a second count
of selling and distributing methamphetamine. (See Doc. 12).
The Defendant has been in prison since June of 2004.
The Defendant has had Attorney Patrick Rogan and Attorney David
E. Butler representing him at different times but he had some
disagreements with them and at this point argues they did not
properly interview him or question him and he was unsatisfied
with their representation.
Recently, the Defendant appeared in Court and this Court was
notified he would enter a plea of guilty pursuant to a plea agreement. Rather than plead guilty, however, the Defendant
indicated to the Court he was unsatisfied with the advice given
to him by Counsel and that he did not wish to enter into any plea
agreement and wished to enter a plea to an indictment or
superseding indictment without any plea agreement. To protect the
Defendant's interest the Court directed a brief continuance in
the case and appointed the Federal Public Defender's Office to
represent him. Attorney Gino Bartolai of the Federal Public
Defender's Office is presently representing the Defendant and
filed this motion seeking his release on bail.
II Presumption against Defendant's Release Pending Trial
At the outset of the hearing held September 6, 2005 the Court
was notified that Defendant, through Counsel, has also filed a
Motion to Suppress which the Government still has not responded
to since the time has not yet expired. The Government indicated
it will file a response and a hearing on the Motion will probably
be necessary. The case is presently set for trial on September
27, 2005 but may have to be continued again if the hearing and
action on the Motion is not completed by that time.
The concept of presumption of innocence i.e., that one is
presumed innocent until proved guilty, and the concept of being
entitled to be released on bail pending criminal charges being
disposed of or pending trial are two of the most revered and
long-standing rights that defendants are given under the criminal
law in the United States. These two rights come into significant play in
this case. As is true with all rights, the Court as well as
Counsel and the parties to this action must follow the law that
has been passed and developed in such cases.
The law on bail and right to bail pending disposition of
criminal charges is outlined in various cases such as U.S. v.
Delker, 757 F2 1390, (3d Cir. 1985) and U.S. v. Heilig,
633 F. Supp. 329, (1986), and in the United States Criminal Code at
18 U.S.C. 3341 et seq. At the outset of this case, the Court
referred to such legal authorities and Counsel for the Government
pointed out that very law provides that there is a presumption
against release and in favor of detention whenever a Defendant
either has a past record of violent behavior or the present
charges against him, as in this case, are drug charges which
provide potential penalties in excess of ten years. See
18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3). Therefore, the Defendant in this case is up against
a presumption that no conditions can be set which will reasonably
assure the safety of the community and that he will appear as
necessary in his case.
The Defendant through his Counsel acknowledged this presumption
and argued the presumption should not be invoked here because ...