United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OF FINDINGS OF FACT AND STATEMENT OF
REASONS IN SUPPORT OF ORDER OF PRETRIAL DETENTION
C. LAMBERTH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Thomas Taylor is charged, with co-defendant Tyrone Trice,
with one count of Unlawful Distribution of One Hundred Grams
or More of a Mixture and Substance of Phencyclidine in
violation of title 21 United States Code §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B)(iv).The indictment also includes
criminal forfeiture allegations, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §
853(a), including in the amount of $4, 800. Mr. Taylor has
also been charged in D.C. Superior Court case 2017-CMD-18716
with one count of Simple Assault and one count of Possession
of a Prohibited Weapon (Knife).
arraignment on November 6, 2017, the Government made an oral
motion for temporary detention of Mr. Taylor. Magistrate
Judge Harvey granted the motion for a three-day hold and set
a detention hearing for November 9, 2017. This Court held the
detention hearing on that date.
consideration of the Government's Memorandum for Pretrial
Detention as to Mr. Taylor (ECF No. 18) and the oral
representations of both parties at the detention hearing, Mr.
Taylor was ordered 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 are set forth below.
Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3141 et seq.,
provides that a defendant maybe detained pending judicial
proceedings where the government carries its burden of
establishing 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. at § 3142(e), (f). The
government must first establish one of the predicates: (1)
that, beyond a preponderance of the evidence, defendant poses
a risk of flight, United States v. Xulam, 84 F.3d
441, 443 (D.C. Cir. 1996); or (2) that, by clear and
convincing evidence, defendant has been shown to pose a risk
to the safety of any person or the community, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(f); United States v. Peralta, 849 F.2d
625, 626 (D.C. Cir. 1988). The Court must then determine that
the same evidence leads to the conclusion that no condition
or conditions of release will reasonably protect against the
risk that has been found.
determining whether the release of the defendant would
endanger the community, the court must consider any available
information concerning  the nature and circumstances of
the offense charged, including whether the offense is a crime
of violence or involves a narcotic drug;  the weight of
the evidence against the person;  various personal
information including character, employment, past conduct,
and so on; and  the nature and seriousness of the danger
to any person or the community that would be posed by the
person's release." United States v. Smith,
79 F.3d 1208, 1209 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (internal quotations
omitted) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)).
is a presumption that a defendant should be detained before
trial if the court finds probable cause to believe that a
defendant committed "an offense for which a maximum term
of imprisonment is ten years or more [as] prescribed in the
Controlled Substances Act." 18 U.S.C. §
3142(e)(3)(A). The Court "may rely on a grand jury
indictment to establish probable cause for the purposes of
triggering the rebuttable presumption of section
3142(e)." United States v. Williams, 903 F.2d
844 (D.C. Cir. 1990). The court will "presume that no
condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure
the appearance of the person as required and the safety of
the community." 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3). A defendant
may rebut this presumption if he offers "credible
evidence" to the contrary. Id.; United States v.
Alatishe, 768 F.2d 364, 371 (D.C. Cir. 1985).
grand jury's indictment, "fair upon its face, "
furnishes probable cause to believe that the Mr. Taylor
committed the acts that constitute this offense. See
Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 117 n.19 (1975);
Williams, 903 F.2d 844. The charged offenses here
are punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment often years
or more. This creates a presumption of pretrial detention.
Government proffers that Mr. Taylor sold, on two occasions, a
mixture containing a detectable amount of phencyclidine (PCP)
to an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police
Department. Because one of the transactions occurred in
Maryland, Mr. Taylor is only charged in this Court with one
count of Distribution. In its Memorandum, the Government
provides a detailed account of the transactions. On June 17,
2016, Mr. Taylor gave one bottle of PCP to the undercover
officer in exchange for $1, 400. On July 21, 2016, Mr. Taylor
was involved in the sale of eight ounces of PCP to an
undercover officer in exchange for $2, 000. Both transactions
were digitally recorded by law enforcement. Mr. Taylor has a
history of criminal conduct, including two felony convictions
related to narcotics trafficking-one in 1999 and the other in
2002- and eleven other criminal cases in the District of
Columbia. In addition, Mr. Taylor was recently charged in
D.C. Superior Court on two misdemeanor charges of assault and
possession of a prohibited weapon. The Government also
proffers that Mr. Taylor does not have a full time job and
has a limited history of employment.
response, Mr. Taylor argues that his previous felony
convictions are over fifteen years old. He also notes that he
was arrested in his apartment on the assault charge and the
possession of a prohibited weapon charge (both charges are in
D.C. Superior Court) is based on the fact that the police
found a knife in his apartment. The defense asks that Mr.
Taylor be allowed to remain in his apartment and given an
ankle bracelet, which would ensure his presence for trial.