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United States v. Anderson

March 10, 2010


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


On February 28, 2010, Defendant Daryl Anderson ("defendant") filed a motion for reconsideration of order detaining defendant pending trial. (Doc. No. 219.) This court held a hearing on March 8, 2010, at which evidence and proffers of evidence were presented. Taking into consideration the evidence presented at the hearing, the pleadings and record in this case, and the arguments of counsel, this court denied defendant‟s request for release. This memorandum opinion and order sets forth the reasons for the court‟s decision, which were detailed on the record.


On September 15, 2009, a grand jury returned an indictment at Criminal No. 09-273 charging defendant with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (Doc. No. 1.) On December 8, 2009, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment, charging defendant with the same count. (Doc. No. 145.) The maximum sentence for the drug offense at Criminal No. 09-273 is a life term of imprisonment. (Doc. No. 2.)

On September 13, 2009, law enforcement officers went to the house of defendant to execute an arrest warrant, signed on that date by the magistrate judge. (Tr. of 2/19/2010 Detention Hr‟g (Doc. No. 227) at 9.) When the officers arrived, they knocked on the door, but there was no answer. A neighbor came outside, and told the officers that he believed defendant was not home. The neighbor contacted defendant by telephone, and the officers spoke with defendant. Defendant indicated he was in Baltimore, Maryland. (Id. at 9-10.) He also indicated "he was aware that he had an warrant for his arrest at that time, . . . and he would turn himself in to McKeesport police within the next couple of days." (Id. at 10.) Defendant did not turn himself in, however, until November 5, 2009, which was after he was placed on fugitive status by the United States Marshal Service. (Id. at 11-12.)

After turning himself in, defendant initially waived a detention hearing because there was a state detainer. (Id. at 2.) The state detainer was lifted upon motion by defendant on January 27, 2010. (Mot. for Recons. of Order Detaining Def. Pending Trial (Doc. No. 219), Ex. 1.) A detention hearing in this case was held February 19, 2010. At the hearing, the magistrate judge found that defendant posed a risk of flight, and ordered that defendant be detained pending trial:

The Bail Reform Act requires the Court to review a number of factors in making a determination regarding detention. The first being the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the crime involves narcotics. As counsel have noted, this is a presumption case, which means that, according to Congress, if a crime involves narcotics, which this one does, there is a presumption in favor of detention, in other words, that is considered to be dangerous to the community.

The weight of the evidence against the accused is another factor. It appears to me that the evidence is at least solid based upon the telephone conversation transcripts that I have. This Defendant was not as involved in this conspiracy as some of the others, it appears, but he clearly, according to this evidence, has had some involvement with the distribution of drugs.

History and characteristics. I am seeing three, at least, not felonies, but some type of crimes to which Mr. Anderson pled guilty to involving drugs, either the possession or distribution thereof. I don't really see any employment history in the pretrial report.

Ties to the community. I see that he does have a girlfriend, Ms. Gordon, who is here today.

The last factor I am to look at is the nature and seriousness of danger to any person if the accused is released. I think that based upon the offer of Ms. Gordon as a third party custodian and the fact the convictions are relatively dated, I probably would have agreed to release on stringent conditions. It's marginal, but I think conditions would be enough to protect the community.

But I don't think you have rebutted the presumption on risk of flight. I am sorry, Mr. Anderson, but that 53-day run, that's the behavior that I have to weigh to decide whether or not you will stay here and will appear for future court proceedings.

Clearly the officer spoke to you on the phone, you knew there was a warrant, you said you would turn yourself in, and you didn't. It seems to me the only reason you eventually did was because the marshals went to someone's home looking for you and I just -- you know, electronic monitoring is only as good as the monitor. You can always walk out of the house, you can always run, you can always take the monitor off.

I just can't get beyond that, I am sorry, so I am going to detain Mr. Anderson on a risk of flight basis. (Tr. of 2/19/2010 Detention Hr‟g at 30-32.) The magistrate judge entered an order of ...

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