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United States v. Hopkins

United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

March 12, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DONELL ALFRED HOPKINS, Defendant.

ORDER FOR PRETRIAL DETENTION

Jon Stuart Scoles Chief Magistrate Judge

On the 12th day of March, 2015, this matter came on for hearing on the Government's request to have die Defendant detained prior to trial. The Government was represented by Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin R. Eldridge. The Defendant appeared personally and was represented by his attorney, Mark C. Meyer.

I. RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

On October 30, 2014, Defendant Donell Alfred Hopkins was charged by Indictment (docket number 3) with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (Count 2) and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition (Count 4). At the arraignment on March 10, 2015, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and trial was scheduled before Chief Judge Linda R. Reade on May 11, 2015.

Sergeant Matt Sandvick of the Linn County Sheriffs Office, who is currently assigned to the DEA task force, testified regarding the circumstances underlying the instant offenses. On October 28, 2013, officers executed a search warrant at an apartment occupied by Defendant and his girlfriend. As officers were approaching the building, They encountered two African American males, including Defendant. During a pat-down, Defendant was found with a loaded .357 Smith & Wesson handgun in one pocket and two baggies containing controlled substances in the other. One of the baggies contained 7 individually-wrapped bags of marijuana, while the other baggie contained 45 individually-wrapped bags of crack cocaine. A search of the apartment resulted in the seizure of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and scales. Also found were ten rounds of .357 ammunition.

According to the pretrial services report, Defendant is 34 years old. He was born and raised in Chicago, before moving to Cedar Rapids in about 2002. Defendant's brother, Robert Hopkins, is a co-defendant in this case. Defendant has never been married but has twin sons (age 15) from a prior relationship. The children live with Defendant's sister in Chicago. Prior to his arrest, Defendant was living with his girlfriend, Delinda Morgan, and would return there if released.

Defendant has been unemployed for approximately six months. Prior to that time, he worked for his landlord, doing maintenance in exchange for rent. Prior to that, he worked as a custodian and as a dishwasher. Defendant has no source of income and is financially supported by his girlfriend.

Defendant told the pretrial services officer that he is in generally good health, although he suffers occasional pain in his right shoulder due to an old injury. Defendant denied any mental health issues. Defendant denied that alcohol consumption has ever been problematic, but admitted he has used marijuana "almost every day" since age 7. He last used marijuana on the day of his arrest.

While living in Chicago, Defendant was charged in separate cases with trespass to residence, attempted mob action, possession of cannabis, domestic battery, knowingly damaging property, possession of cannabis, manufacture/delivery of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of cannabis. All of those charges were either not prosecuted, stricken from the docket with leave to reinstate, or their disposition is unknown.

In May 2002, at age 21, Defendant was charged in Cook County with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon/vehicle, together with three other counts. While those charges were pending, Defendant was arrested six more times, and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, gambling, three counts of possession of cannabis, carry-possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an invalid ID, and another unspecified ordinance violation. All of the new charges were either not prosecuted or stricken from the docket with leave to reinstate. In March 2003, however, Defendant received a one-year prison term on the initial aggravated unlawful use of a weapon/vehicle charge. He was paroled after two months. While on parole, Defendant was charged and later convicted of possession of cannabis. His parole was revoked, but then apparently reinstated. He was discharged from parole in February 2004.

In August 2004, Defendant was charged with possession of a controlled substance in Linn County, Iowa. Thirteen days later, while the first charge was pending, Defendant was charged and later convicted of disorderly house. Defendant failed to appear for arraignment on the initial possession charge, and a warrant was issued. The warrant was recalled approximately six weeks later.

In February 2005, Defendant was charged with theft in the fifth degree and assault. He was sentenced to ten days in jail (with nine days suspended) and placed on probation for one year. While on probation, Defendant was charged in eight separate cases.

In February 2006, while on probation, Defendant was charged with driving while barred. Defendant was sentenced to 180 days in jail (with 150 days suspended), but failed to appear in July 2006 to serve his sentence. A warrant was eventually issued and Defendant was arrested. He was found in contempt of court and sentenced to 40 days in jail and "unsuccessfully discharged from probation." The warrant was active for approximately 17 months. During that time, Defendant was charged in Cook County with aggravated unlawful use of a ...


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