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United States v. Jackson

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Southern Division

September 25, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
KAYLA JACKSON also known as Lady K, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on defendant's appeal (DE 84) of the magistrate judge's pretrial detention order entered August 16, 2019 (DE 56). Requested review having been undertaken, for reasons given below, defendant's plea for release is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         In this multi-defendant case, defendant was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 31, 2019, for the following felony drug offenses: 1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count 1); 2) distribution of a quantity of heroin and aiding and abetting, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 2 (Counts 7 and 12); 3) possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin and fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Count 8); and 4) possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and aiding and abetting, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 2 (Count 30).

         She appeared before the Hon. Robert B. Jones, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge, for hearing August 16, 2019, on the government's motion for pretrial detention. The magistrate judge heard testimony of Marvelia Jackson, defendant's mother, and Betty Jackson, defendant's grandmother, as well as testimony of FBI agent Blaire Toleman. The magistrate judge orally announced decision to grant the government's motion and entered order granting the government's motion that same date. Defendant filed an appeal of the magistrate judge's order on August 29, 2019.

         COURT'S DISCUSSION

         If a person is ordered detained by a magistrate judge, the person may file with the district court a motion for revocation of the order. 21 U.S.C. § 3145(b). The district court should conduct a de novo review of the decision by the magistrate judge. United States v. Clark, 865 F.2d 1433, 1437 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v. Williams, 753 F.2d 329, 333 (4th Cir. 1985); United States v. Ramey, 602 F.Supp. 821, 822-24 (E.D. N.C. 1985). In doing so, the court makes an independent determination as to whether the magistrate judge's findings are correct based on the court's review of the evidence before the magistrate judge. See Williams, 753 F.2d at 333-34. The court may conduct a further evidentiary hearing if it is necessary or desirable in carrying out the review. See id, at 333; see also United States v. Koenig, 912 F.2d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 1990) (district court has discretion on whether to conduct a further evidentiary hearing); United States v. Delker, 757 F.2d 1390, 1393-94 (3rd Cir. 1985); United States v. Fortna, 769 F.2d 243, 249-50 (5th Cir. 1985) (same).

         Because there is probable cause to believe that defendant committed an offense subject to a maximum term of imprisonment often years or more under 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., defendant is subject by operation of law to the presumption, which may be rebutted by the defendant, that she is a risk of flight and a danger to the community, and that no condition or combination of conditions can be fashioned to assure her appearance and that she will not be a danger. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3). In determining whether there are conditions of release, pursuant to § 3142(c), that will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required and the safety of any other person and the community, the court must take into account the available information concerning:

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the offense is a crime of violence ... or involves a . . . controlled substance . . . .;
(2) the weight of the evidence against the person;
(3) the history and characteristics of the person, including -
(A) the person's character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings; and
(B) whether, at the time of the current offense or arrest, the person was on probation, on parole, or on other release....
(4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the ...

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