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United States v. Langan

United States District Court, D. Utah

May 15, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK N. LANGAN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DETAINING DEFENDANT

          Ted Stewart United States District Judge.

         District Judge Ted Stewart This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Review of Detention of Magistrate's Detention Order. For the reasons discussed below, the Court orders Defendant be detained pending trial.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Defendant is charged in an Indictment with three different charges, all related to the same incident.[1] Defendant was arrested on April 8, 2019, for attempted Hobbs Act robbery, [2] the use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, [3] and for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.[4]

         Defendant appeared before Magistrate Judge Pead for a detention hearing on May 6, 2019. The Government presented evidence supporting Defendant's detention, and Defendant argued for release pending trial. Magistrate Judge Pead concluded the hearing by ordering Defendant be detained. Defendant has now filed the instant Motion seeking review of the detention order.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court considers Defendant's request for a review of the Magistrate Judge's order of detention under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b) and DUCrimR 57-16(a)(1). The Court conducts its own de novo review of the detention issue giving no deference to the Magistrate Judge's findings or conclusions.[5] In so doing, the Court may elect to start from scratch and take evidence-whether or not new evidence is proffered-and also may incorporate the record of the proceedings conducted by the Magistrate Judge, including any exhibits.[6]

         In making its determination on a detention issue, this Court, like the Magistrate Judge, is governed by the standards set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3142. Under that statute, an accused is ordinarily entitled to pretrial release, with or without conditions, unless 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 community.”[7]

         In certain cases, however, the presumption of pretrial release shifts. Section 3142(e)(3)(B) dictates that, “[s]ubject to rebuttal by the person, it shall be presumed that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the community if the judicial officer finds that there is probable cause to believe that the person committed . . . an offense under section 924(c) . . . .”[8]

         In this case, Defendant is charged with an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Indictment is sufficient to provide probable cause to support a belief that Defendant committed an offense under 924(c).[9] Hence, a “rebuttable presumption arises that no condition or combination of conditions will assure that [Defendant] will not pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community.”[10] Detention is presumed.

Once the presumption is invoked, the burden of production shifts to the defendant. However, the burden of persuasion regarding risk-of-flight and danger to the community always remains with the government. The defendant's burden of production is not heavy, but some evidence must be produced. Even if a defendant's burden of production is met, the presumption remains a factor for consideration by the district court in determining whether to release or detain.[11]

         As stated, the burden of persuasion remains with the Government. The Government must prove risk of flight by a preponderance of the evidence and it must prove dangerousness to any other person or to the community by clear and convincing evidence.[12] To determine whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of Defendant and the safety of any other person and the community, this Court considers the following factors:

(1) The nature and circumstances of the offense charged, including whether the offense . . . involves . . . a firearm. . .;
(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, ...

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