United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER AFFIRMING PRETRIAL DETENTION ORDER
L. ROSENBERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Defendant William's Appeal
of Magistrate Judge Brannon's Pretrial Detention Order.
DE 82. The Court has reviewed Magistrate Judge Brannon's
Pretrial Detention Order, DE 64; the Appeal, DE 82; the
transcripts of the two-day detention hearing; and the
Pretrial Services Report. For the reasons set forth below,
the Court affirms Magistrate Judge Brannon's Order
detaining Defendant Williams prior to trial.
Superseding Indictment charges Defendant Williams with two
counts: one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to
distribute a controlled substance, heroin, (Count 1) and one
count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled
substance, heroin (Count 8). DE 5. If convicted of Count 1,
Defendant Williams faces 5 to 40 years in prison; if
convicted of Count 8, Defendant Williams faces 0 to 20 years
in prison. DE 64 at 1.
Judge Brannon held a Detention Hearing on April 25 and 26,
2018. At the hearing, the Government proffered that Defendant
Williams was identified through a wiretap engaging in drug
trafficking activities, that law enforcement seized heroin
from Defendant Williams and his vehicle, and that Defendant
Williams later admitted that the substance of the wire-tapped
phone conversations in which he was engaged involved dealing
heroin. Apr. 25, 2018 Hr'g Tr. at 4-6, 11.
Williams proffered that he is a lifelong resident of Palm
Beach County, that he has a job as a computer technician at
the Palm Beach International Airport, and that he has no U.S.
passport and has never traveled out of the country.
Id. at 12-13. He also proffered that he has never
been convicted of a felony. Id. at 13. Several of
Defendant Williams's family members came to the hearing
and Defendant Williams's father, Kendrick Williams,
offered his $200, 000 home as collateral on a bond for his
son. Id. at 15.
hearing, Judge Brannon expressed concern about Defendant
Williams's previous failures to appear and his record of
drug dealing and carrying a concealed firearm. Id.
at 16. Judge Brannon continued the hearing. During the second
day of the hearing, the Government noted that Defendant
Williams “was convicted of several counts of drug
paraphernalia which were downgraded for more serious
offenses. There was also carrying a concealed weapon charge.
. . . I was provided a copy of the probable cause affidavits
that underlie those matters, and I would submit to the Court
that the allegations that underlie those matters are
significant and are relevant for purposes of the Court
evaluating the defendant's personal history.” Apr.
26, 2018 Hr'g Tr. at 8.
the Court found that, after weighing the factors under 18
U.S.C. § 3142, Defendant Williams was not a flight risk;
however, the Court found that he is a danger to the community
and that there is no condition or combinations of condition
that will reasonably assure the community's safety. DE 64
at 2-3. Defendant Williams has now appealed Judge
Brannon's Order to this Court, arguing that there is a
reasonable combination of conditions that will assure the
Court that he will appear when directed and that he poses no
danger to the community. DE 82.
18 U.S.C. § 3142, a judge can order the detention of a
person prior to trial if the judge “finds that no
condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure
the appearance of the person as required and the safety of
any other person and the community.” The Bail Reform
Act “provides a rebuttable presumption of risk of
flight or danger to the community when a defendant has been
indicated for certain crimes.” United States v.
Quartermaine, 913 F.2d 910, 915 (11th Cir. 1990). One of
those crimes is “an offense for which a maximum term of
imprisonment of ten years or more is prescribed in the
Controlled Substance Act.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142
to 18 U.S.C. § 3145, following a magistrate's order
that a detainee be held without bond pending trial, the
detainee may move the district court to revoke or amend the
magistrate's pretrial detention order.” United
States v. King, 849 F.2d 485, 490 (11th Cir. 1988). The
District Court is required to conduct an independent review.
Id. “[W]hen a motion to revoke or amend a
pretrial detention order attacks only the magistrate's
legal conclusion that pretrial detention is necessary, and no
factual issues remain unresolved, the district court need not
enter findings of fact when adopting the magistrate's
pretrial detention order.” Id.
Williams challenges Judge Brannon's legal determination
that there is no reasonable combination of conditions that
will reasonably assure the community's safety from
Defendant Williams. DE 82 at 3. The Court has conducted an
independent review of the case and agrees with Judge
Brannon's determination that there is no reasonable
combination of conditions that could be imposed on Defendant
Williams to assure the community's safety.