United States District Court, D. Columbia
CHARLES HARVEY ECCLESTON, Defendant: Carlos J. Vanegas, LEAD
ATTORNEY, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR D.C., Washington, DC.
USA, Plaintiff: Thomas A. Gillice, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S.
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Criminal Division, Washington, DC;
Julie Ann Edelstein, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
OPINION AND ORDER
D. MOSS, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Charles Harvey
Eccleston's Motion to Modify Bond. Dkt. 10. Eccleston,
who is currently detained, asks the Court to transfer him to
the custody of the High Intensity Supervision Program
administered in the Eastern District of Washington, in
Yakima, Washington. Id. at 1. Eccleston explains
that his brother James Eccleston, who lives in Seattle, is
ill and that, if the Court were to transfer him to the
Eastern District of Washington, he would be able to live with
another brother, Kim Eccleston, and help run James's
business when Kim travels to care for James. Id. at
2. The United States opposes the motion, arguing that
Eccleston poses a danger to the public and a flight risk.
Dkt. 12 at 1. The Court agrees and, accordingly, denies
was indicted on April 23, 2015, and charged with attempting
to access and cause damage to a protected computer in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A), (b), &
(c)(4)(B); attempting to access a computer without
authorization in order to obtain information in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(B), (b), & (c)(2)(B)(i);
attempting to access a computer without authorization in
order to defraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4),
(b), & (c)(3)(A); and committing wire fraud in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1343. See Dkt. 6.
opposing Eccleston's Motion to Modify Bond, the
government relies principally on the Affidavit of FBI Special
Agent Lauren Gulotta (" Gulotta Affidavit" ), which
was originally submitted in March 2015 in support of the
Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant. Dkt. 1. According to
the Gulotta Affidavit, Eccleston is a scientist who
previously worked for the Department of Energy ("
DOE" ) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission"
(" NRC" ). Dkt. 1-1 ¶ 15. On or about April
15, 2013, Eccleston entered the embassy of a foreign country
in the Philippines and offered to sell purportedly classified
e-mail addresses used for official correspondence between
officials and employees of the " U.S. Energy
Commission." Id. ¶ 14. When an FBI
employee posing as an intelligence agent for the foreign
country contacted Eccleston, Eccleston proceeded to develop
an elaborate scheme to infect the e-mail accounts of dozens
of DOE employees with a virus that would exfiltrate
information from DOE servers and/or damage DOE computer
systems. Id. ¶ ¶ 40-45. According to the
government, on or about January 15, 2015, Eccleston sent as
many as 80 e-mails that he believed contained a dangerous
virus to DOE employees. Id. ¶ 118. He believed
that he would be paid substantial amounts by the foreign
country for his efforts. Id. ¶ 119. In
addition, Eccleston met with an undercover FBI agent on
several occasions and explained that he was motivated, at
least in part, by his " frustration" and anger with
the NRC. Id. ¶ 21, 40, 44.
in turn, has not submitted declarations or other evidence in
support of his Motion to Modify Bond, but his motion contains
representations of counsel regarding Eccleston's desire
to be released in order to assist his brothers James and Kim,
both of whom currently reside in Washington State. Dkt. 10.
Counsel represents that James is in " failing
health" and that, if released, Eccleston could "
help Kim run [James's] small used car business when Kim
has to travel to care for their sick brother."
Id. at 2. Counsel also represents that, if released,
Eccleston could reside with Kim " at his residence in
Yakima, Washington." Id. Finally, counsel
reports that Eccleston has lived in Dallas, Texas and
Richland, Washington for the majority of his life; that he
lived briefly in Washington, D.C.; and that he moved to the
Philippines in mid-2011, where his children still reside.
Id. at 3. For present purposes, however, Eccleston
has not otherwise contested the facts proffered by the
government in opposing release.
his arrest in the in the Philippines on March 27, 2015,
Eccleston was presented in the Central District of California
on May 4, 2015. Dkt. 8. At the government's request, a
magistrate judge entered an order requiring Eccleston's
pretrial detention, finding him both a danger to the public
and a risk of flight. Dkt. 7 at 18-21. Eccleston was then
brought to the District of Columbia, where he waived his
right to a detention hearing and was ordered detained without
bond. He now seeks pre-trial release subject to various
conditions. Dkt. 10.
In our society liberty is the norm, and detention prior to
trial or without trial is the carefully limited
exception." United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S.
739, 755, 107 S.Ct. 2095, 95 L.Ed.2d 697 (1987). The Bail
Reform Act of 1984 (the " Act" ), 18 U.S.C. §
3142 et seq., outlines the circumstances under which
a defendant may be detained before trial. As relevant here,
the Act directs the Court to order pretrial detention when it
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 the
community." Id. § 3142(e)(1). It further
directs the Court to consider four factors in determining
whether a defendant poses a risk of flight or danger to the
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged,
including whether the offense is a ...