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United States v. Brooks

United States District Court, D. Columbia

October 9, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
SEKOU K. BROOKS, Defendant

          For SEKOU KAMBON BROOKS, Defendant: Jonathan Jeffress, LEAD ATTORNEY, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.

         For USA, Plaintiff: Jeffrey Pearlman, John K. Han, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.

         MEMORANDUM OF FINDINGS OF FACT AND STATEMENT OF REASONS IN SUPPORT OF ORDER OF DETENTION

         DEBORAH A. ROBINSON, United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Defendant is charged by indictment with unlawful possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); unlawful possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); unlawful possession with intent to distribute amphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C); unlawful possession with intent to distribute lorazepam, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(E)(2); unlawful possession with intent to distribute clonazepam, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(E)(2); and unlawful possession with intent to distribute diazepam, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(E)(2). The undersigned conducted a detention hearing on October 2, 2015. Upon consideration of the proffers and arguments of counsel, and the entire record herein, the undersigned ordered Defendant held without bond pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). The findings of fact and statement of reasons in support of the Order of Detention follow.

         II. THE BAIL REFORM ACT

         The Bail Reform Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 3141, et seq., provides, in pertinent part, that if a judicial officer finds by clear and convincing evidence that " no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure . . . the safety of any other person and the community, such judicial officer shall order the detention of the [defendant] before trial." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e); see also United States v. Henry, 935 F.Supp. 24, 25 (D.D.C. 1996) (citation omitted) (" If a defendant poses a danger to society, the Court has a sufficient basis upon which to order pretrial detention." ).

         In instances in which pretrial detention is sought on the ground that there are no conditions of release that will reasonably assure the defendant's appearance, the government must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant poses a risk of flight if released before trial. See United States v. Anderson, 382 F.Supp.2d 13, 14 (D.D.C. 2005) (citations omitted) (" [T]he [Bail Reform Act] provides for pretrial detention if the government establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is likely to flee before trial if released and that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required." ).

         In determining whether there are conditions of release which will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required, and the safety of any other person and the community, the judicial officer shall take into account the available information concerning: (1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; (2) the weight of the evidence against the defendant; (3) the defendant's history and characteristics; and (4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or to the community which would be posed by the defendant's release. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g).

         A rebuttable presumption 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 the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq., for which a maximum period of incarceration often years or more is prescribed. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A). An indictment is sufficient to establish probable cause for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). See United States v. Williams, 903 F.2d 844, 844 (D.C. Cir. 1990).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Both counsel for the government and counsel for Defendant proceeded by proffer. Counsel for the government argued that Defendant is a danger to the community and should be held without bond pending trial. In support, counsel for the government proffered that the arresting officer, upon the execution of a search warrant, found $3,050 in cash in Defendant's pocket; and 149 grams of cocaine, 100 oxycodone pills, 82 clonazepam pills, 210 lorazepam pills, 21 amphetamine pills, 11 Adderall pills, 23 diazepam pills, numerous empty Ziploc bags, and a digital scale were found in Defendant's vehicle.

         The government further proffered that Defendant continued to sell drugs to George Washington University (" GWU" ) students while on release pending trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Case No. 2014-CF-5661). As evidence to support, the government proffered that Defendant received 35 checks and multiple payments to Defendant's Venmo[1] account, all of which totaled $44,749 from a GWU student, and Defendant received a total of $125,000 during the period of August 2014 to June 2015. Additionally, the government proffered that Defendant's net gambling loss at casinos while on pretrial release was $85,000.

         Counsel for the government also proffered that Defendant is believed to be the supplier of the prescription medication that caused the overdose death of a GWU student in September 2014. Finally, counsel for the government proffered that Defendant has a prior history of convictions ...


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