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United States v. Boyachek

United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, Eastern Division

March 31, 2015




On the 31st day of March, 2015, 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 Patrick J. Reinert. The Defendant appeared personally and was represented by his attorney, Leon F. Spies.


On September 16, 2009, Defendant Jason Leonard Boyachek was charged by Indictment (docket number 2) with conspiracy to distribute marijuana (Count 1) and money laundering conspiracy (Count 2). At the arraignment on March 27, 2015, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and trial was scheduled before Chief Judge Linda R. Reade on May 26, 2015.

Neither party offered any testimony at the time of hearing. According to the pretrial services report, Defendant (age 41) was born in Canada and has lived there most of his life. Defendant told the pretrial services officer mat he lived in Chicago from about 2003 to 2005. Defendant's parents and two siblings reside in Canada. Defendant has never been married and has no children. Defendant is engaged, however, and would live with his fiance in Canada if released.

Defendant is unemployed and has not been "formally employed" since 2009. He supports himself by doing occasional work for construction companies and day-trading stocks. He is in good physical health, but was treated for anxiety between about 2007 and 2009. Defendant denies the use of illegal controlled substances. He has no prior criminal record.

On September 16, 2009, a grand jury returned the indictment in this case, charging Defendant with conspiracy to distribute 1, 000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and money laundering. A warrant was issued for his arrest at that time. In August 2010, the United States requested that Defendant be extradited from Canada. A Canadian warrant was issued for his arrest on January 13, 2011, but he apparently was not located until September 11, 2011. Defendant vigorously contested his extradition, and the extradition hearing took place over a two-year period. Following an adverse ruling, Defendant appealed die decision to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. On November 14, 2014, the Court of Appeal issued a detailed Ruling (Government's Exhibit 1) denying Defendant's appeal. Defendant then appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court, but ultimately discontinued his appeal on March 5, 2015. See Defendant's Exhibit B. He was then arrested and returned to the United States.

While extradition proceedings were pending, Defendant was supervised by the British Columbia Department of Corrections. Defendant's bail supervisor reported that Defendant fully complied with the terms of his supervision. See Defendant's Exhibit A. Defendant submitted numerous letters attesting to his good character. See Defendant's Exhibits D-T.

Janet Henchey, Director General and Senior General Counsel of the International Assistance Group of die Canadian Department of Justice, describes in two letters (Government's Exhibits 1 and 2) Canadian law regarding extradition. According to Ms. Henchey, there is no mechanism in Canadian law to enforce an "anticipatory waiver of extradition" as a condition of bail. That is, if Defendant is released and returns to Canada, any agreement to return voluntarily to the United States is unenforceable. Instead, Canadian authorities would have to file a new extradition proceeding. Ms. Henchey opined that "[t]his process is likely to take several years and would require substantial resources to complete."


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 die evidence that me 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 condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the defendant's appearance at trial and the safety of the community. Id.

Regarding die first step, pretrial detention is not authorized unless me Court finds mat at least one of seven enumerated circumstances is applicable. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f). The first five enumerated circumstances refer to "offense types, " such as crimes of violence, offenses punishable by life imprisonment, serious drug offenses, felonies committed by repeat offenders, and felonies involving minor victims or guns. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1)(A-E). The last two enumerated circumstances where a hearing is authorized involve ...

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