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United States v. Gage

United States District Court, District of Columbia

November 28, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JAMAR GAGE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROSEMARY M. COLLYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Jamar Gage requests release pending trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142. Mr. Gage is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of phencyclidine (PCP) in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(iv). Indictment [Dkt. 1] at 1-2. The Court held a bond review hearing on November 15, 2018. At its conclusion and upon consideration of the proffers and arguments of counsel and the entire record herein, the Court denied Mr. Gage's motion. This memorandum is prepared in compliance with the statutory obligation that “the judicial officer shall . . . include written findings of fact and a written statement of the reasons for the detention.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i)(1).

         I. FINDINGS OF FACT

         A. Description of the Offense

         At the detention hearing, the United States proceeded by proffer based on the Indictment and its detailed opposition brief. Opp'n [Dkt. 48]; see also Mot. for Bond [Dkt. 47]. Mr. Gage argued that the proffered evidence related to his sale of low and high-grade marijuana, not PCP, and thereby materially lessened the seriousness of the alleged offense. The Court makes the following findings of fact:

         Mr. Gage was arrested on April 27, 2018 as part of a “take down” after an investigation of narcotics trafficking in the Washington, D.C. area conducted from approximately November 2015 to March 2018 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The investigation included controlled purchases by confidential sources assisting the FBI and ATF, physical surveillance, interception of wire and electronic communications, and execution of search warrants, among other tools.

         Through interceptions of other target phones and those speaking with Mr. Gage's phone, the government concluded that Mr. Gage was engaged in the distribution of PCP. The prosecutor cited numerous calls from March 30, 2017 to April 6, 2017 between Mr. Gage and co-defendant Jahi Marshall wherein they discussed where to meet and Mr. Marshall made requests for “one more, ” “1 and 1, ” and a “little boy.” Based on the experience of the investigating agents, the term “1 and 1” referred to two one-ounce bottles of PCP and “little boy” and “big boy” referred to half-ounce and one-ounce bottles of PCP, respectively.

         Surveillance units observed Mr. Marshall on April 8, 2017, when he discarded a small black bag; when the agents retrieved the bag, they discovered two bottles emanating a strong chemical odor consistent with PCP. Later that same day, the agents observed Mr. Gage stop a short distance away from where Mr. Marshall had discarded the bottles; Mr. Gage was joined in his vehicle by Mr. Marshall for approximately one minute. Based on the content of earlier conversations and the discarded bottles, the agents believe Mr. Gage was restocking Mr. Marshall with PCP on April 8, 2017.

         On May 25, 2017 and May 31, 2017, interceptions between Mr. Marshall and Mr. Gage showed the former again requesting “one of them little ones” and “A LIL ONE, ” which the agents believe to be half ounce bottles of PCP.

         Interceptions also picked up calls between Mr. Gage and co-defendants Antonio Tabron and Lamont Johnson. From July 26, 2017 to July 29, 2017, Mr. Gage spoke on multiple occasions with Mr. Tabron and Mr. Johnson seemingly to coordinate a meeting or purchase. Mr. Tabron told Mr. Gage he could probably “get it” from someone else for “either twenty-four or twenty-six.” Based on the experience of the agents, the value of 16 ounces of PCP is about $2400 or $2600. In his conversations with Mr. Johnson, Mr. Gage referenced 16th Street and 8thStreet, which the agents believe was coded language for 16 or 8 ounces of PCP.

         Additional interceptions between Mr. Gage and individuals not also indicted in this case discussed the price for a “16 ounce jawnt, ” “a swimming pool, ” and “16 laps, ” which Mr. Gage notes cost “26.” Agents believe these conversations reflect requests for 16 ounces of PCP, often referred to as “water” and which costs approximately $2400 to $2600 in the District of Columbia.

         Agents executed a search warrant on Mr. Gage's vehicle on November 28, 2017, and recovered an empty glass vial, which they state is the type of vial commonly used to package and distribute PCP.

         B. Criminal History of the Defendant

         Based on a preliminary criminal history calculation prepared by the United States Probation Office for the District of Columbia, the Court has some information about Mr. Gage's criminal history. See Gage Pre-Plea Criminal History Calculation [Dkt. 34]. Mr. Gage has four prior criminal convictions and was under supervised ...


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