United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER DENYING APPEAL OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S
DETENTION ORDER (ECF NO. 23)
P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Joseph Baker appeals Magistrate Judge Ferenbach's order
detaining him pending trial. ECF No. 23. The United States
opposes. ECF No. 26. I have reviewed this matter de
novo. I deny the appeal and affirm Magistrate Judge
defendant may appeal an order of detention to the district
court having original jurisdiction over the offense. 18
U.S.C. § 3145(b). The court reviews the Magistrate
Judge's order de novo. United States v.
Koenig, 912 F.2d 1190, 1192-93 (9th Cir.1990). The court
“should review the evidence before the magistrate and
make its own independent determination whether the
magistrate's findings are correct, with no
deference.” Id. at 1193.
18 U.S.C. § 3142(g), judges consider four factors in
determining whether to detain or release a defendant:
“(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense
charged, including whether the offense is a crime of violence
or involves a narcotic drug; (2) the weight of the evidence
against the person; (3) the history and characteristics of
the person; and (4) the nature and seriousness of the danger
to any person or the community should the person be
released.” United States v. Chen, 820 F.Supp.
1205, 1207 (N.D. Cal. 1992).
Nature and Circumstances of Offense Charged
is charged with four felony offenses involving drugs and a
weapon: two counts of distribution of methamphetamine,
possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute
it, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. ECF No. 1.
Baker faces significant prison time if convicted. See
United States v. Parodi, No. CR-08-0083 PJH, 2008 WL
683421, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 7, 2008) (a
“defendant's financial condition and the length of
sentence he or she faces are of particular importance in
assessing the risk of flight”).
the crimes Baker is charged with, there is a rebuttable
presumption that no condition or combination of conditions
will reasonably assure Baker will appear as required and that
the safety of the community will be protected. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(e)(3). Baker has not rebutted this presumption.
Weight of Evidence Against Defendant
“is the least important of the various factors.”
United States v. Motamedi, 767 F.2d 1403, 1408 (9th
Cir. 1985). “Although the [bail reform] statute permits
the court to consider the nature of the offense and the
evidence of guilt, the statute neither requires nor permits a
pretrial determination that the person is guilty.”
Id. (citations omitted). The Government has
demonstrated a significant amount of evidence supporting the
charges against Baker. He allegedly personally distributed
methamphetamine to an informant, and a handgun (with an
obliterated serial number) and a large amount of drugs
(including methamphetamine, morphine and marijuana) were
seized at Baker's residence pursuant to a search warrant.
ECF No. 26 at 7-8; ECF No. 24 (audio recording of May 17,
2017 detention hearing). Two children were present when the
drugs and weapon were seized. Baker's girlfriend
allegedly corroborated some of the evidence in a statement to
police. ECF No. 26-1. This factor favors detention.
History and Characteristics of Defendant
18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)(3), courts may consider “the
history and characteristics of the person, including his
character, physical and mental condition, family ties,
employment, financial resources, length of residence in the
community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to
drug and alcohol abuse, criminal history, [and] record
concerning appearance at court proceedings.”
Motamedi, 767 F.2d at 1407.
has at least seven prior felony convictions and several
misdemeanor convictions over the past 30 years. Most of those
convictions involve drugs, weapons, or violence. He argues
that most of those convictions are old, and he has not been
arrested or convicted since 2009. However, he was
incarcerated until 2012, so his time out of prison has not
been long. He has a demonstrated proclivity to engage in
drug-related acts like those at issue in this case. Factor
three weighs against his release.
Nature and Seriousness of Danger Posed by ...