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United States v. Munguia-Cortes

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division

February 10, 2014



JON STUART SCOLES, Magistrate Judge.

On the 10th day of February, 2014, this matter came on for hearing on the Government's request to have the Defendant detained prior to trial. The Government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham. The Defendant appeared personally and was represented by his attorney, Michael M. Lindeman.


On January 22, 2014, Defendant Samuel Adolfo Munguia-Cortes was charged by Indictment (docket number 1) with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. At the arraignment on January 29, 2014, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and trial was scheduled before Chief Judge Linda R. Reade on March 31, 2014. Defendant waived his right to a detention hearing, subject to his ability to request and receive a prompt hearing at a later time. On February 5, 2014, Defendant asked for a detention hearing, and a hearing was scheduled on February 10, 2014.

Franklin County Deputy Sheriff Aaron Dodd, who is currently assigned to the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force, testified regarding the circumstances underlying the instant charge. In March 2013, task force officers were investigating Defendant's possible involvement in the distribution of methamphetamine. On March 24, 2013, Nathan McGrane (who is a codefendant in this case) was arrested in possession of 6.2 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine. McGrane was arrested after being seen leaving a bar building owned by Defendant. Another alleged coconspirator, Cynthia Huebner, has already pleaded guilty to federal drug charges. Huebner was arrested on June 17, 2013 with 124 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine. Huebner told authorities that Defendant was her source of methamphetamine in 2012 and 2013. According to Huebner, in March and April 2013, Defendant provided her with approximately 3.5 ounces of methamphetamine per week.

On August 14, 2013, Defendant was arrested on an unrelated matter. He was found in possession of 5.23 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine. When Defendant was interviewed the following day, he admitted the methamphetamine was his and said he purchased it from someone in Clarion. Defendant also admitted that he used some and gave some away.

According to the pretrial services report, Defendant is 30 years old. He was born in Mexico and entered the United States illegally in 2001. His mother and two brothers continue to reside in Mexico. Defendant is married and has two children (ages 8 and 7). Prior to his arrest, Defendant was living with his wife and children in Corwith, Iowa, and would return there if released.

Defendant is unemployed, having last worked in October 2010. According to Defendant, he is financially supported by his wife. Defendant is in good health and has no history or mental or emotional health concerns. Defendant told the pretrial services officer that in 2012, he used methamphetamine once a week for one year, but has not used since that time.

In 2002, at age 18, Defendant was charged with operating while intoxicated, but pleaded guilty to reckless driving and public intoxication. In 2004, Defendant was convicted of domestic abuse assault. In 2007, Defendant was convicted of operating while intoxicated.

On August 4, 2013, Defendant was charged in state court with a controlled substance violation, furnishing a controlled substance to an inmate, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The third charge is still pending, but the first two charges were dismissed after the grand jury returned the instant federal charge. On August 16, 2013, while the charges were pending, Defendant was charged and later convicted of interference with official acts and disorderly conduct. On November 1, 2013, Defendant was charged and later convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, second offense.


The release or detention of a defendant pending trial is governed by the Bail Reform Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 3142. In United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987), the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Bail Reform Act of 1984, while noting that "[i]n our society liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception." Id. at 755.

A. Legal Standard to be Applied

If the government moves to have a defendant detained prior to trial, the court must undertake a two-step inquiry. United States v. Friedman, 837 F.2d 48, 49 (2d Cir. 1988). The Court must first determine by a preponderance of the evidence that the case involves an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1), or that the defendant presents certain risk factors, as identified in § 3142(f)(2). Id. Once this determination has been made, the court then determines, pursuant to § 3142(e), whether any ...

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