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U.S. v. WILSON

November 11, 2005.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
DAVID WILSON, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD ROBERTS, District Judge

DETENTION MEMORANDUM

David Wilson was charged along with 14 other defendants in a 73-count indictment with a narcotics conspiracy and related violations. A magistrate judge held a detention hearing and released Wilson into the high intensity supervision program. The government appealed the release order, and following a hearing, this court ordered that Wilson be held without bond pending trial in this case. This detention memorandum is submitted to comply with the statutory obligation that "the judicial officer shall include written findings of fact and a written statement of the reasons for the detention." 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (i) (1).

THE BAIL STATUTE

  Under the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3141, et seq., a person awaiting trial on a federal offense may be released on personal recognizance or bond, conditionally released, or detained. 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (a) (2000). A presumption that "no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonablely assure the . . . safety of the community" arises when "the judicial officer finds that there is probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense for which a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more is prescribed in the Controlled Substances Act." 18 U.S.C. 3142(e).

  To rebut the statutory presumption in favor of pretrial detention, a defendant may present evidence that he is not a risk of flight and that he does not pose a danger to the community. In determining' whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure his appearance as required and the safety of any other person and the community, a court must consider the following factors:
(1) The nature and circumstances of the offense changed, 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, 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
. . .
(4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.
18 U.S.C. §§ 3142(g). A determination of dangerousness must be supported by clear and convincing evidence, United States v. Alatishe, 768 F.2d 364, 370 (D.C. Cir. 1985), while a determination of risk of flight must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. United States v. Vortis, 85 F.2d 327, 330 (D.C. Cir. 1986). Dangerousness includes a danger that a defendant will engage in illegal narcotics transactions United States v. Williams, 903 F.2d 844 (D.C. Cir. 1990); United States v. Thomas, 871 F.2d 1149 (D.C. Cir. 1989); see also, United States v. Brown, 1989 WL 105501 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

  DISCUSSION

  I. GOVERNMENT'S EVIDENCE

  At the detention hearing before this court, the government proceeded by a proffer which sought to link the defendant to a history of drug dealing, two murders, and a recent drug transaction that occurred while the defendant was in jail See United States v. Smith, 79 F.3d 1208, 1210 (D.C. Cir.1996) (allowing government proffer).

  A. Drug dealing from 1991 to 2001

  The government proffered evidence from multiple cooperating witnesses and an informant with first hand knowledge of the drug conspiracy, and evidence of controlled purchases of drug: from the defendant and from recorded transactions with defendant. The government often offered its assessment of those individuals' reliability or prior testimony. Cooperating witness #1 ("CW1"), who has pled guilty to the drug conspiracy that is the basis of the indictment in this case, provided information that the government substantially corroborated. The government found this witness to be truthful. CW1 said that between 1999 and 2000, Wilson sold ounce quantities of crack cocaine to CW1 six times, and Wilson bought wholesale amounts of crack cocaine from CW1, amounting to ten to twenty $10 bags at once.

  Cooperating witness #2 ("CW2") also pled guilty to a drug conspiracy involving these defendants. CW2's testimony led to nine individuals pleading guilty and corroborating CW2's information. CW2 had personal knowledge that Wilson was involved in drugs as early as 1991 to 1993. CW2 supplied Wilson ounce (28 gram) quantities of crack cocaine twice a week for several months in 1998. Between 1999 and 2000, Wilson asked to buy larger quantities of crack from CW2. Wilson bought 62 grams of crack five times, and 125 grams of crack twice, from CW2. Sometime in 2000 or 2001, the defendant asked CW2 for 500 grams of crack.

  Cooperating witness #3 ("CW3"), a close acquaintance of Wilson's, pled guilty to the conspiracy charged here and testified four times for the government. CW3 was not impeached on cross-examination, according to the government, and the FBI corroborated information provided by CW3. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, CW3 saw Wilson with 250 grams of crack cocaine and 125 grams of powder numerous times. Cooperating witness #4 ("CW4"), who also pled guilty to this drug conspiracy, has testified twice in D.C. Superior Court for the government. CW4 sold cocaine powder to Wilson seven times between 2000 and early 2001 in amounts of 62 or 93 grams. CW4 also saw Wilson sell an ounce of crack in a 2001 controlled purchase.

  Cooperating witness #6 ("CW6") pled guilty to this drug conspiracy and testified twice for the government. The government said that CW6's testimony was not substantially impeached at trial. CW6 supplied Wilson with 62 grams of crack cocaine ten times in 1996 and 1997.

  Cooperating witness #7 ("CW7") testified twice in this court. The government averred that the testimony was not substantially impeached, and that significant information CW7 gave was corroborated. CW7 supplied Wilson with $10 bags, ...


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