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United States v. Gibson

February 8, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
LAMAR M. GIBSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joy Flowers Conti United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Defendant requested hearing on grant of pretrial detention for defendant Lamar M. Gibson issued by a magistrate judge. After a de novo review of the pleadings in this case, a pretrial services report, the arguments of counsel, and a hearing at which proffers of evidence were presented, this court will deny defendant's request for bail and order defendant Lamar M. Gibson detained without bond pending trial.

Standard

The court's standard of review for reviewing a magistrate judge's decision regarding bail is de novo. United States v. Delker, 757 F.2d 1390, 1394 (3d Cir.1985).

Facts

Defendant was indicted by a grand jury for serious drug offenses, including one under 18 U.S.C. § 841 (b)(1)(B)(iii) that provides a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten years imprisonment. (Docket No.1). The alleged offenses occurred on June 17, 2005, June 28, 2005 and August 6, 2005. On each of those dates, a confidential informant made a controlled purchase from defendant for varying amounts of crack cocaine. After the confidential informant made the controlled purchases, the government executed a search warrant on defendant's residence. The search yielded 60 grams of crack cocaine and $14,000 in cash. The recovered cash included buy money paid to defendant by the confidential informant.

With respect to defendant's background, defendant had a meaningful employment history at hourly paid jobs ranging from $6 to $7.50 per hour. Defendant has family ties in Western Pennsylvania. Defendant, however, has had extensive interaction with the criminal justice system and committed various drug crimes while he was under state court supervision. The government conceded that defendant is not a flight risk.

Discussion

The structured system of the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141 et seq., regarding the release or detention of a defendant before trial seeks to ensure that the interests of the defendant and the public are carefully considered and contemplated before release or detention is ordered. See United States v. Lemos, 876 F.Supp. 58, 59 (D.N.J.1995). The court is charged with determining whether there exists "any condition or combination of conditions set forth in [18 U.S.C. § 3142(c)] that will reasonably assure the appearance of the [defendant] as required and the safety of any other person and the community...." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f). See also Lemos, 876 F.Supp. at 59 (stating that "[a] condition precedent to detention without bail under subsection (e) is that a hearing be held as provided in subsection (f).").

Section 3142(c)(1)(B) of the Bail Reform Act sets forth a nonexclusive list of conditions that a court may impose upon granting a defendant's motion for pretrial release. If no sufficient condition or combination of conditions exists, however, the court may order that a defendant be detained without bail pending trial.

Section 3142(e) of the Bail Reform Act provides, in pertinent part:

If, after a hearing pursuant to the provisions of subsection (f), . . . the judicial officer finds that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the [defendant] as required and the safety of any other person and the community, such judicial officer shall order the detention of the [defendant] before trial. . . . .

Subject to rebuttal by the [defendant], it shall be presumed that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the [defendant] as required and the safety of the community if the judicial officer finds that there is probable cause to believe that the [defendant] committed an offense for which a maximum term of imprisonment of ten ...


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