United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REVIEW
OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S ORDER AND MOTION TO STAY MAGISTRATE
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Christie (“Defendant”) is currently detained
pending trial. On July 10, 2018, he filed a motion for
release to an inpatient drug counseling facility. ECF No. 64.
On July 20, 2018, Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel
convened a hearing on the motion, at which he denied the
motion. ECF No. 66. On July 24, 2018, Defendant filed the
present motion for review and stay of Judge Garfinkel's
order. ECF No. 67. On August 31, 2018, the United States
filed a memorandum in opposition to Defendant's motion
and release from detention. ECF No. 77.
reasons set forth below, the Court ORDERS
that the Defendant remain in custody pending trial, and
DENIES Defendant's motion for a new
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
November 7, 2017, Defendant was arrested under the criminal
complaint in this case. On November 21, 2017, a federal grand
jury returned an indictment charging Defendant and Eyisiel
Ortega with Conspiracy to Possess with intent to Distribute
and Distribution of Cocaine Base over 28 grams in violation
of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) and
841(b)(1)(B)(iii), and Possession with intent to Distribute
and Distribution of Cocaine Base in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). In connection with the
possession of over 28 grams of Cocaine Base, Defendant faces
a mandatory minimum term of five years incarceration and a
maximum term of 40 years incarceration. 21 U.S.C.
December 5, 2017, Defendant was arraigned before Judge
Garfinkel. ECF No. 27. After several continuances, a
detention hearing was held before Judge Garfinkel on January
26, 2018. ECF No. 37. At the hearing, the United States
requested that Defendant continue to be detained due to
“the defendant's prior criminal record, the
evidence of the long-term ATF investigation into the
trafficking of firearms and drugs between North Dakota and
Connecticut and the danger to the community.” Gov't
Resp. and Memo in Opp. to Def. Mot. for Rev. of Mag.
Detention Order, ECF No. 77. Since then, the Defendant has
10, 2018, Defendant filed a motion for release to an
inpatient drug counseling facility. Mot. for Release, ECF No
64. Defendant suggested he be sent to “the Salvation
Army in Hartford which has an available bed.” On July
20, 2018, Judge Garfinkel convened a bond hearing, at which
he denied Defendant's motion to be released. ECF No. 66.
On July 24, 2018, Defendant filed the present motion for
review and stay of Magistrate Garfinkel's July 20, 2018
Order. ECF No. 67. On August 31, 2018, United States filed a
memorandum in opposition to Defendant's release.
Gov't Resp. and Memo in Opp. to Def. Mot. for Rev. of
Mag. Det. Order.
United States argues that Defendant is presumed to be a
danger to the community due to his indictment under 21 U.S.C.
§846, 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C), which carries a
maximum term of 40 years in prison. Gov't Resp. and Memo
in Opp. to Def. Mot. for Rev. of Mag. Det. Order at 7-8. The
United States alleges that Defendant has “no verifiable
employment history . . . . [and] four prior convictions,
three of which are felony convictions pertaining to selling
drugs and illegally possessing a firearm.” Id.
at 8. The United States further claims that the Defendant
does not have a drug addiction problem. Id. The
United States contends that the evidence against Defendant is
“strong” and includes: video recordings, two
testifying confidential informants, and “recorded
telephone calls between the defendant and the buyer.”
Id. at 8-9.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review de novo a magistrate judge's detention
order. U.S. v. Leon, 766 F.2d 77, 80 (2d Cir.1985).
“Under this review standard, [a court] will judge the
issues anew, but in doing so, utilize the factual and
evidentiary record developed during the detention hearing . .
. .” U.S. v. Goba, 240 F.Supp.2d 242, 245
determining whether pre-trial detention is warranted, courts
consider the factors outlined in 18 U.S.C. 3142(g):
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged,
including whether the offense is a crime of violence, a
violation of section 1591, a Federal crime of terrorism, or
involves a minor victim or a controlled substance, firearm,
explosive, or destructive device;
(2) the weight of the evidence against the person;
(3) the history and characteristics of the person,