United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is Defendant Todd C. Engel's
(“Defendant's”) Motion for Release Pending
Sentence or Appeal, (ECF No. 3180). The Government filed a
Response, (ECF No. 3198), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF
No. 3204). For the following reasons, the Court
DENIES Defendant's Motion.
March 2, 2016, a federal grand jury sitting in the District
of Nevada returned a Superseding Indictment charging nineteen
defendants with sixteen counts related to a confrontation on
April 12, 2014, with Bureau of Land Management
(“BLM”) Officers in Bunkerville, Nevada. (ECF No.
27). Defendant was grouped with tier three defendants and was
part of the first group of defendants that went to trial.
(Order, ECF No. 1098). At the conclusion of Defendant's
trial, the jury found Defendant guilty of Count Twelve,
obstruction of justice, and Count Sixteen, interstate travel
in aid of extortion. (Jury Verdict, ECF No. 1903).
to Defendant's trial, the tier one defendants proceeded
to trial. (Order, ECF No. 1098). On December 20, 2017, the
Court declared a mistrial for the tier one defendants,
finding that the Government's failure to disclose
evidence to the tier one defendants resulted in numerous
Brady violations. (Mins. of Proceedings, ECF No.
3041). Following the Court's declaration of mistrial, the
Court found that dismissal with prejudice was necessary.
(Mins. of Proceedings, ECF No. 3116). In the instant Motion,
Defendant argues that it is likely he will be granted a new
trial, and based on this reasoning he should be released
pending sentencing or appeal. (Mot. for Release 9:9-10, ECF
Release Pending Sentence
to 18 U.S.C. § 3143, the Court is required to order a
convicted defendant detained pending sentencing so long as
the guideline range recommends a term of imprisonment.
However, the Court may release a defendant awaiting
imposition of a sentence if (1) there is a substantial
likelihood that a motion for acquittal or new trial will be
granted; and (2) the judicial officer finds by clear and
convincing evidence that the person is not likely to flee or
pose a danger to any other person or the community. 18 U.S.C.
burden of establishing that the defendant will not flee or
pose a danger to any other person or to the community rests
with the defendant.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 46(c). This is a
high burden to satisfy. See United States v.
Masters, No. 2:12-cr-00145-MMD-GWF, 2013 WL 5308204, at
*2 (D. Nev. Sept. 18, 2013).
Release Pending Appeal
18 U.S.C. § 3143(b)(1), a defendant may not be granted
bond pending appeal unless (1) the defendant proves by
“clear and convincing evidence that [he] is not likely
to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or
the community if released, ” and (2) the
defendant's appeal is not brought for the purpose of
delay and raises
a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in (i)
reversal, (ii) an order for a new trial, (iii) a sentence
that does not include a term of imprisonment, or (iv) a
reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the
total of the time already served plus the expected duration
of the appeal process.”
18 U.S.C. 3143(b)(1). This statute creates a presumption
against post-conviction release and places the burden of
meeting the criteria squarely on the Defendant, United
States v. Wheeler, 795 F.2d 839, 840 (9th Cir. 1986),
and it is a heavy burden. United States v. Gerald
N., 900 F.2d 189, 191 (9th Cir. 1990); see United
States v. Handy, 761 F.2d 1279, 1283 (9th Cir. 1985);
see also United States v. Montoya, 908 F.2d 450, 451
(9th Cir. 1990).