United States District Court, District of Columbia
A. HOWELL Chief Judge.
defendant, Steven Johnson, was indicted, on July 14, 2016,
for one count of unlawful possession with intent to
distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine, in
violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1)
and 841(b)(1)(B)(ii) and one count of using, carrying, and
possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, in
violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1).
Indictment at 1–2, ECF No. 3. At his post-indictment
detention hearing held on July 18, 2016, the
government’s oral motion to detain the defendant
pending trial was granted, and the defendant’s motion
for release from custody was denied. See Min. Entry
(July 18, 2016). This Memorandum and Order sets out the
findings and reasons for the defendant’s detention.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i) (requiring that a
detention order “include written findings of fact and a
written statement of the reasons for the detention”);
see also United States v. Nwokoro, 651 F.3d 108, 109
(D.C. Cir. 2011) (noting that the Bail Reform Act requires
pretrial detention order be supported by “‘a
clear and legally sufficient basis for the court’s
determination’” in written findings of fact and a
written statement of the reasons for the detention or in
“‘the transcription of a detention
hearing’” (quoting United States v.
Peralta, 849 F.2d 625, 626 (D.C. Cir. 1988))) (per
BACKGROUND AND FINDINGS
detention hearing on July 18, 2016, the government proffered
in support of its detention motion that, from approximately
July 1–4, 2016, a confidential informant observed the
defendant engaging in narcotics transactions at his
residence, a single-family row house, located at 44119th
Street N.E., Washington, D.C. The defendant would receive a
phone call, go to the door of his residence, receive
currency, return inside to the basement, retrieve what was
believed to be crack cocaine, and then return to the door.
The confidential informant also informed the authorities that
the defendant possessed at least one firearm.
12, 2016, the Metropolitan Police executed a search warrant
at the defendant’s residence and the defendant answered
and opened the door. The defendant informed the officers that
he resided in the basement, information corroborated by his
mother, who is the only other resident of the house. In the
basement, the officers found an invoice or bill, which
contained the defendant’s first and last name as well
as the search warrant location address. In the upstairs area
of the house, the officers found the defendant’s wallet
with his driver’s license, which also listed the search
warrant location address. Further, the government noted that
law enforcement databases had this same address listed for
the defendant based on his prior criminal history.
executing the search warrant, the officers recovered from the
basement approximately two kilograms of cocaine, empty
plastic bags, digital scales, gloves, a bullet-proof vest,
approximately $185, 000 in cash, two semiautomatic rifles,
firearm magazines for a B.B. gun rifle, and a gun magazine
with a 100-round ammunition drum. The two rifles appeared to
be loaded with ammunition and operable. The cocaine, valued
between $20, 000 and $40, 000, and a portion of the cash were
located in a safe, while the bullet-proof vest and B.B. gun
rifle magazines were in plain view.
his arrest on the same day as the execution of the search
warrant, the defendant was ordered temporarily detained, at
the government’s request, see Min. Entry (July
13, 2016), and was subsequently indicted.
Bail Reform Act of 1984 provides a “regulatory device .
. . to provide fair bail procedures while protecting the
safety of the public and assuring the appearance at trial of
defendants found likely to flee.” United States v.
Montalvo-Murillo, 495 U.S. 711, 719–20 (1990);
see also United States v. Singleton, 182 F.3d 7, 9
(D.C. Cir. 1999) (“The Act establishes procedures for
each form of release, as well as for temporary and pretrial
detention.”). Under the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3141 et seq., a judicial officer “shall
order” a defendant’s detention before trial if,
after a hearing, “the judicial officer 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). The judicial officer considering the
propriety of pretrial detention must consider four factors:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged,
including whether the offense . . . involves . . . a
controlled substance, [or] firearm;
(2) the weight of evidence against the person;
(3) the history and characteristics of the person, including
. . . 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 . . . whether, at the time of the current
offense or arrest, the person was on probation, on parole, or
on other release pending trial, sentencing, appeal, or
completion of sentence for an offense under Federal, State,
or local law; and
(4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or
the community that would be posed by the ...