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United States v. Little

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 30, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GADDY LITTLE (1), Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION ON DETENTION

          ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, United States District Judge

         Defendant Gaddy Little faces drug and gun charges in this Court. See Indictment [Dkt. 1]. He was arrested on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, and appeared for his initial hearing before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson on Thursday, January 12, 2017. At that time, the government orally moved to have Mr. Little held without bond, which motion the Judge temporarily granted, pending a detention hearing to be held on Friday, January 13, 2017. At the conclusion of the detention hearing, Magistrate Judge Robinson ordered Mr. Little released on the condition of home confinement with limited exceptions and without location monitoring. The Government filed a motion for an emergency stay and for review and appeal of the release order, Mot. for Emergency Stay [Dkt. 6], on Friday afternoon, which this Court granted. See 1/13/17 Minute Order. A hearing on bond review was held at the soonest possible date (Wednesday, January 18, 2017), at which time this Court ordered Mr. Little's detention pending trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142. Section 3142(e) allows a court to hold a defendant pending trial, but a judicial officer entering a detention order must “include written findings of fact and a written statement of the reasons for the detention.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i)(1). This memorandum opinion makes those findings and explains the reasons for Mr. Little's detention.

         I. BACKGROUND

         During the hearing on January 18, 2017, the Government presented an oral proffer that summarized and expanded on its arguments to detain Mr. Little, as previously presented in its written Motion for Emergency Stay. With the exception of the quantity of PCP charged, these facts were not seriously disputed by Mr. Little:

1. Mr. Little was indicted on December 8, 2016, with one count of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Phencyclidine (PCP) in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 844(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iv); one count of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base, also known as “crack, ” in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 844(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); and one count of Possessing a Firearm During or in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
2. As indicated above, Mr. Little was not arrested for the indicted crimes until January 11, 2017.
3. Three months earlier, on October 11, 2016, at approximately 1:17 p.m., Mr. Little was driving on Suitland Parkway in Maryland with his co-defendant Tiffany Mack and their two children, a 7-month-old and a three-year-old. Mr. Little drove the car over the concrete median into oncoming traffic and struck a pickup truck head on. The truck flipped multiple times. Emergency personnel transported the truck driver, Mr. Little, and the two children to the hospital. The driver of the truck later died. Mr. Little suffered a broken leg, broken pelvis, and broken ribs.
4. United States Park Police officers investigating the crash scene recovered a plastic bag containing a Newport cigarette pack on the ground directly outside and below Mr. Little's seat as driver of the car. The officers report that it contained a one-ounce vial that was 1/3 full of PCP and two plastic bags that contained 10.5 grams of crack. In addition, the vehicle contained numerous packs of Newport cigarettes and some purple latex gloves.
5. Eight days later, on October 19, 2016, the Park Police officers executed a search warrant at the residence where Mr. Little and Ms. Mack live. Mr. Little was out of the hospital and present, but recumbent on a mattress on the floor in front of the living room couch; his injuries prevented him from rising. During the search, the officers looked under the cushions of the couch and, from under the cushion nearest Mr. Little's head, retrieved a Taurus .45 caliber pistol, loaded with nine rounds and wrapped in a purple latex glove. Mr. Little spontaneously said, “if it's a .45, it's mine.” Also located on the sofa was a plastic bag containing $504 in cash.
6. From various locations in the kitchen, the officers seized:
a. Twenty-one (21) vials appearing to contain some amount of PCP, several empty glass vials, and numerous pink empty zip lock baggies;
b. Crack in the amount of 6.4 grams, a 3-ounce vial that appeared to be PCP, more than 20 empty glass vials, and boxes of purple latex gloves;
c. An extended magazine for a Glock .40 caliber pistol, 140 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, a box of .45 caliber ammunition, .38 caliber ammunition, and mail matter in Mr. Little's name;
d. Eighteen (18) empty glass vials, numerous unused pink zip lock bags, an eye dropper, latex gloves, and razor blades; and
e. A Taurus .45 caliber magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.
7. Mr. Little waived his Miranda[1] rights and told the officers that he had purchased the Taurus .45 caliber gun approximately two-and-one-half weeks earlier for protection. He also stated that the vials in ...

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