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U.S. v. OSTRANDER

September 8, 2005.

United States
v.
Bradley Ostrander aka Bradley Brown, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD CONABOY, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

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.

  I Background

  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 ...


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