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United States v. Sharp

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

April 15, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT CARL SHARP, Defendant.

ORDER FOR PRETRIAL DETENTION

JON STUART SCOLES, Magistrate Judge.

On the 15th day of April, 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 Dan Chatham. The Defendant appeared personally and was represented by his attorney, Joel J. Schwartz.

I. RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

On March 31, 2015, Defendant Robert Carl Sharp was charged by Indictment (docket number 3) with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute a controlled substance (Count 1), possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (Count 2), and possession with intent to distribute, and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute, a controlled substance (Count 3). At the arraignment on April 6, 2015, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and trial was scheduled before Chief Judge Linda R. Reade on June 1, 2015.

Neither party offered any evidence at the time of hearing, instead relying on the information found in the pretrial services report. Defendant is 35 years old. He was born in Chicago and lived in Illinois for most of his life, until moving to Eastern Iowa in early 2013. Defendant has been in federal custody for nearly one year, but prior to that time was living with his girlfriend in Center Point, Iowa. Defendant's girlfriend confirmed that he could return to her residence if released.

Defendant told the pretrial services officer that he was married in 1998 and was never formally divorced. Defendant also stated, however, that the marriage may not have been valid because he believes his wife was already married to another person at the time. No children were born to the marriage. Defendant has a 14-year-old daughter from another relationship, however, who resides with her mother in Illinois.

Defendant has not been employed since he was taken into federal custody in May 2014. Prior to that time, he was self-employed for just less than two years, operating stores called Pipe Dreams and Smoke N' Ink. Defendant is in good physical health and denied ever suffering from a mental illness. Defendant admitted consuming cocaine when he was younger, but denied its use since 2002. Defendant also admitted using marijuana prior to his imprisonment in 2005, but declined to provide any further information regarding his history of marijuana usage.

Defendant has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1995 when, at age 16, he was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. While on probation for that charge, Defendant was charged with armed robbery and subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated battery. He received a 4-year prison term on the aggravated battery charge. His parole was twice revoked.

In August 1998, while on parole, Defendant was charged with attempted burglary. He pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to four months in jail, with one year probation. While on probation, Defendant was charged and convicted of drunk driving.

In 2001, Defendant was charged and later convicted of manufacture/delivery cannabis. After receiving one year probation, a violation of probation was filed. While that violation was pending, Defendant was arrested again for manufacture/delivery cannabis. The probation violation in the first case was dismissed, but he was sentenced to one year in prison on the second charge.

In September 2003, Defendant was charged in federal court in Illinois with possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. He was initially sentenced to 180 months in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to 132 months. He began a term of supervised release on April 2, 2012. The events which give rise to the instant charges allegedly occurred while Defendant was on supervised release. Defendant was not authorized to live in Iowa while on supervised release. Defendant's supervised release was revoked and he was sentenced to 10 months in prison. He discharged that sentence last month and was immediately arrested on the warrant which was issued in this case.

II. DISCUSSION

The release or detention of a defendant pending trial is governed by the Bail Reform Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. ยง 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 ...


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