United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge
November 1, 2016, defendant Ronald Hunt was indicted on one
count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, cocaine, and 100
grams or more of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841 and 846 (Count I), and one count of unlawful
possession with intent to distribute twenty-eight grams or
more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C § 841
(Count V). Indictment [Dkt. # 1]. He was arrested on November
4, 2016. Arrest Warrant [Dkt. # 3]. On November 4, 2016, the
government filed a motion for pretrial detention. Government
Mem. in Supp. of Detention [Dkt. # 4] ("Gov't
Detention Mem."). A hearing was held on November 7,
2016, Min. Entry (Nov. 7, 2016), and the Magistrate Judge
issued a written opinion on November 8, 2016 ordering
defendant Hunt to be held without bond. Detention Mem. [Dkt.
#7], Pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 3145(b), defendant Hunt
filed a motion on December 22, 2016 seeking a modification of
the Magistrate Judge's decision to detain him pending
trial. Mot. for Bond Modification [Dkt. # 10]
("Def'sMot"). The government opposed the
motion, Government Mem. in Opp. to Def's Mot. [Dkt. # 11]
("Gov't Opp.''), and after hearing from the
parties at a status conference at which defendant also made a
request for new counsel, the Court took the motion under
advisement and invited both sides to submit additional
information. Min. Entry (Jan. 6, 2017); Min. Order (Jan. 6,
2017). On February 3, 2017, after defendant had obtained new
counsel, he filed a second motion for bond modification.
Def.'s Second Mot. for Bond Modification [Dkt. # 15]
("Def.'s Second Mot."). The government filed a
notice of opposition to defendant's second motion,
relying on arguments it made in its first opposition.
Government's Notice of Opp. to Def.'s Second Mot.
[Dkt. # 17].
Court has considered the relevant law, the facts presented in
the indictment, the motions and opposition, the evidence
presented at the hearings, the information provided by the
Pretrial Services Agency, as well as the statements and
arguments of counsel. Based on the record before it at this
time, the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that
there is no condition or combination of conditions that will
reasonably assure the safety of the community if defendant is
released. Therefore, after consideration of all of the
factors set forth in section 3142(g), the Court orders that
defendant Hunt shall be detained pending trial.
hearing and in pleadings filed before the Court, the
government proceeded by proffer based on the indictment. The
defense offered no contrary evidence. Accordingly, the Court
makes the following findings of fact:
the course of the government's investigation, law
enforcement received authority to intercept communications
involving three phones used by defendants Marvin Carpenter
and Ronald Hunt, and intercepted communications in which they
made numerous references to drug trafficking. For example, on
May 3, 2015, Carpenter and Hunt arranged to sell
approximately 125 grams of cocaine for more than $5, 000.
Although Carpenter spoke directly to the buyer, he directed
the buyer to Hunt by providing the buyer with Hunt's
phone number and location. And Hunt later called Carpenter
and indicated that the deal had been completed.
interceptions also show that Hunt regularly distributed
cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, sometimes doing it himself or
using runners. For example, on July 20, 2016, Hunt called one
of his runners and asked, "Got a white boy outside the
gate, right?" An unidentified male said,
"Yeah." Hunt replied, "Give him three 20's
for $50." The next day, Hunt sent a text message
concerning a transaction: "I can go 90 a g for
you." And on July 29, 2016, a customer asked Hunt to
bring his scale with him to their meeting.
intercepted communications reveal Hunt's desire to obtain
a handgun. For instance, on July 20, 2016, Hunt received a
message from an individual stating his intention to
"bring you that Glock for free." The next day, the
same individual asked Hunt if he wanted the serial number
removed from the weapon. Defendant repeatedly indicated that
he wanted the handgun, but he was prevented from obtaining it
through FBI intervention.
in June 2015, the FBI made a series of controlled purchases
from an individual alleged to be Hunt's co-conspirator.
These purchases produced a total of 140 grams of heroin,
bought in increments of approximately 28 grams.
8, 2016, Hunt was arrested by Washington, D.C. Metropolitan
Police Department officers and charged with unlawful entry
for violating a Superior Court order to stay away from
Potomac Gardens. In a search incident to arrest, officers
recovered approximately thirty grams of a white-rock
substance and four zip containers of suspected heroin, which
both field tested positive for cocaine-base. Lab tests have
since determined that the white substance was actually
also recovered the phone that had been intercepted on the
wiretaps. The phone was returned to Hunt upon his release
from Superior Court, and he continued to use it in
communications similar to those described above.
Bail Reform Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 3142 et
seq., provides that if a judicial officer finds by clear
and convincing evidence 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, such judicial officer shall
order the detention of the person before trial." 18
U.S.C. §§ 3142(e)(1), (f)(2)(g). Even if defendant
does not pose a flight risk, danger to the community alone is
a sufficient reason to order pretrial detention. United
States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 754-55 (1987);
United States v. Simpkins, 826 F.2d 94, 98 (D.C.
also specified in the Bail Reform Act that a judicial finding
that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant
committed certain offenses - including an offense for which a
maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more is
prescribed under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C.
§ 801 et seq - gives rise to a rebuttable
presumption that no pretrial condition ...