United States District Court, District of Columbia
N. MCFADDEN United States District Judge
the Court is Defendant Wayne Holroyd's Motion for Release
Pending Trial. [Dkt. #20] Upon consideration of
Defendant's motion, legal memoranda filed by the
Government, Magistrate Judge Meriweather's Detention
Memorandum, and the oral proffers of both defense counsel and
the Government, I deny Mr. Holroyd's Motion for Release
for the reasons expressed below.
Holroyd has been charged by Indictment with one count of
Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to
Distribute Cocaine Base and Heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 846, and four counts of Unlawful Distribution of
Cocaine Base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). The United States requested a
detention hearing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1)(C).
Magistrate Judge Meriweather held a detention hearing on
December 13, 2017, and concluded that Mr. Holroyd should be
held without bond pending trial. [Dkt. #19] Mr. Holroyd then
requested a bond review hearing, filing the instant motion in
support of release. [Dkt. #20] The Government then responded
with a Memorandum in Opposition. [Dkt. #21] I held a bond
hearing on January 3, 2018, and concluded on the record that
Mr. Holroyd should not be released, noting that this
memorandum would follow. Min. Entry. Jan. 3, 2018.
there is probable cause to believe that a defendant committed
certain offenses, a rebuttable presumption applies
“that no condition or combination of conditions will
reasonably assure the appearance of the [defendant] as
required and the safety of the community.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(e)(3)(B). An indictment alone is sufficient to
trigger this presumption. United States v. Smith, 79
F.3d 1208, 1210 (D.C. Cir. 1996). Once the rebuttable
presumption has been triggered, “the presumption
operate[s] at a minimum to impose a burden of
production on the defendant to offer some credible evidence
contrary to the statutory presumption.” United
States v. Alatishe, 768 F.2d 364, 371 (D.C. Cir. 1985)
(emphasis in original). Furthermore, “even if the
defendant offers evidence to counter the presumption, the
presumption does not disappear entirely.” United
States v. Hunt, 240 F.Supp.3d 128, 132. Instead, the
“presumption is incorporated into the other factors . .
. in determining whether to grant a conditional release and
is given substantial weight.” United States v.
Cherry, 221 F.Supp.3d 26, 32 (D.D.C. 2016) (quoting
United States v. Ali, 793 F.Supp.2d 386, 391 (D.D.C.
2011)); see also United States v. Hite, 76 F.Supp.3d
33 (D.D.C. 2014) (detaining the defendant even though the
defendant had presented enough evidence to rebut a
presumption of detention).
the Bail Reform Act, I must consider four factors in
determining whether any conditions of release will reasonably
assure a defendant's future presence in court or assure
the safety of any other person and the community: (1) the
nature and circumstances of the offense charged; (2) the
weight of the evidence against the defendant; (3) the
defendant's history and characteristics; and (4) the
nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or to the
community that would be posed by the defendant's release.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g); Xulam, 84
F.3d at 442. The ultimate inquiry is whether “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.” 18 U.S.C. §
3142(e). If the answer is indeed that no combination of
conditions could accomplish those goals, then detention must
be ordered pending trial. Id.
United States seeks detention on the basis of the danger that
Mr. Holroyd poses to the community. My analysis of that
detention request is guided by the rebuttable presumption and
the four factors set forth in Section 3142(g) of the Bail
Reform Act. See United States v. Little, 235
F.Supp.3d 272, 277-78 (D.D.C. 2017); United States v.
Muschetta, 118 F.Supp.3d 340, 343-44 (D.D.C. 2015).
After weighing the statutory factors and considering the
rebuttable presumption of detention, I conclude that there
are no release conditions that would reasonably assure the
safety of the community. Therefore pretrial detention is
Holroyd's indictment establishes probable cause to
believe that Mr. Holroyd has committed the charged offenses.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A) (presumption
arises on a finding of probable cause to believe the accused
violated the Controlled Substances Act and is subject to a
maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more);
Smith, 79 F.3d at 1210 (holding that an
“indictment [on a covered offense] alone [is] enough to
raise the rebuttable presumption that no condition would
reasonably assure the safety of the community”). Mr.
Holroyd faces charges which easily exceed ten years: one
count of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to
Distribute Cocaine Base and Heroin, in which Mr.
Holroyd's conduct involved alleged violations which carry
a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, see 21
U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C), and a maximum term of
imprisonment of life, see 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A)(iii); and four counts of Unlawful Distribution
of Cocaine base, which carry a maximum term of imprisonment
of 20 years, see 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C).
Accordingly, the Court's analysis commences with the
rebuttable presumption that there is no condition or
combination of conditions which will reasonably assure the
safety of the community.
three of the four factors codified at Section 3142(g) of the
Bail Reform Act favor detention.
first factor, the nature and circumstances of the offense,
favors detention. Mr. Holroyd has been indicted for serious
narcotics trafficking charges. Although the alleged crimes do
not involve weapons or violence, the offense triggers a
statutory presumption of detention. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(e)(3)(A). Three circumstances surrounding the
charged offenses are particularly troubling to me. First, the
Government proffers that Mr. Holroyd offered to assault
people in a conversation with an undercover officer. Second,
significant evidence suggests that Mr. Holroyd may be a
ringleader in the alleged drug trafficking conspiracy.
Investigators believe that Mr. Holroyd only sold crack
cocaine in larger amounts. If Mr. Johnson had a customer that
sought crack cocaine in amounts larger than what Mr. Johnson
sold, investigators believed that Mr. Johnson would
coordinate with Mr. Holroyd and bring customers to Mr.
Holroyd for the sale. Third, through a search warrant
executed on December 7, 2017, officers recovered
approximately 20 grams of crack cocaine from Mr.
Holroyd's apartment-a substantial amount. Therefore the
nature and circumstances of the offense weigh in favor of
second factor, the weight of the evidence, also favors
detention. As mentioned above, during the execution of a
search warrant, the Government recovered 20 grams pf cocaine
from Mr. Holroyd's apartment. Mr. Holroyd was present for
several controlled buys that occurred between Mr. Johnson and
the undercover officer, suggesting some level of involvement
in those transactions. On October 27, 2016, Mr. Holroyd drove
Mr. Johnson to a meeting with the undercover officer, who had
arranged for the purchase of an ounce of crack cocaine from
In addition, from December 2016 to the spring of 2017, the
FBI, with court authorization, intercepted communications on
a cell phone used by Mr. Holroyd. The communications
intercepted showed Mr. Holroyd speaking with co-defendants
and, inter alia, sending customers to the home of
Nicole Redd, a co-Defendant in this matter, to pick up the
drugs that he had sold. Mr. Holroyd also was intercepted
arranging a drug transaction with another co-Defendant, Harry
Keels (“Mr. Keels”). After being pulled over by
officers, Mr. Keels called Mr. Holroyd and stated that the
officers had not found the drugs and that he was tired of ...