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United States v. Byers

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

August 5, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL DEAN BYERS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Martin Reidinger United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court upon the Defendant's Motion for District Judge to Reconsider Detention Order of Magistrate Judge [Doc. 61].

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 5, 2019, the Defendant was charged in a Bill of Indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846; one count of possession with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); and one count of distribution of at least five grams of actual methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). [Doc. 1]. The Defendant's initial appearance was held before the Honorable W. Carleton Metcalf, United States Magistrate Judge, on July 3, 2019, at which time the Defendant was appointed counsel. The Government moved for detention of the Defendant pending trial. The Defendant waived the applicable time limits so that a hearing on the motion could be scheduled in Asheville.

         A detention hearing was held on July 15, 2019. At the hearing, the Government proffered for the Court's consideration the Pretrial Services report, which outlines the Defendant's criminal history. The Government also called Brian Leopard, a law enforcement officer with the Swain County Sheriff's Office who also serves as a task force officer with the DEA. The Defendant offered the testimony of his niece, Ashley Bjorneboe.

         Upon conclusion of the hearing, Judge Metcalf ordered the Defendant to be detained. A Detention Order was entered on July 16, 2019. [Doc. 57].

         On July 26, 2019, defense counsel filed the present motion, seeking review and revocation of the detention order. [Doc. 61].

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Title 18 of the United States Code, section 3145, governs the review and appeal of detention orders. This statute provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

If a person is ordered detained by a magistrate judge, ... the person may file, with the court having original jurisdiction over the offense, a motion for revocation or amendment of the order. The motion shall be determined promptly.

18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). In reviewing a motion to revoke or amend an order of detention, the Court reviews the Magistrate Judge's Order de novo. United States v. Stewart, 19 Fed.Appx. 46, 48 (4th Cir. 2001). The Court “must make an independent determination of the proper pretrial detention or conditions of release.” Id.

         III. ANALYSIS

         Section 3142 of Title 18 of the United States Code provides that if, after holding a hearing, the Court 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 Court shall order the detention of the person pending trial. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). There is a presumption of detention, rebuttable by the defendant, if the Court finds that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed certain enumerated offenses. See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3).

         In determining whether detention pending trial is appropriate, the Court ...


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