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United States v. MacHorro-Xochicale

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

July 2, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSE MIGUEL MACHORRO-XOCHICALE, Defendant.

ORDER FOR PRETRIAL DETENTION

JON STUART SCOLES, Chief Magistrate Judge.

On the 1st day of July, 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 Daniel C. Tvedt. The Defendant appeared personally and was represented by his attorney, Rockne Cole.

I. RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

On June 24, 2015, Defendant Jose Miguel Machorro-Xochicale was charged by Indictment (docket number 2) with unlawful use of identification documents (Count 1) and misuse of social security number (Count 2). At the arraignment on June 29, 2015, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty and trial was scheduled before Chief Judge Linda R. Reade on August 24, 2015.

Daniel Wildhagen, an enforcement agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") testified regarding the circumstances underlying the instant charges. Wildhagen testified that he was contacted by other law enforcement officers and asked to investigate the identity of a person working at Mehmert Tiling. When Wildhagen went to the site, he reviewed I-9 forms for Jose Miguel Machorro-Xochicale (the Defendant) and for Jose Guadalupe Machorro-Xochicale. Attached to Defendant's I-9 form were copies of a social security card and a permanent resident card bearing Defendant's photo. Upon investigation, it was determined that the social security number was not a valid number, and while the permanent resident card had a valid number, it was assigned to someone else. When Wildhagen interviewed Defendant, Defendant admitted that he had purchased the documents in Chicago for $200 and knew that they were "false" or "not real."[1]

According to the pretrial services report, Defendant is 28 years old. Defendant was born in Mexico and his parents and four siblings continue to reside in Mexico. Defendant told the pretrial services officer that he has not traveled outside of the United States since illegally entering the country in 2002. Agent Wildhagen testified that Defendant told him he had entered the country in 2004.[2]

Defendant told the pretrial services officer that he has been in a relationship with Jenna Montes for the past eight years and they have one daughter, age six months. According to Defendant, they are not legally married. Ms. Montes advised the pretrial services officer, however, that she believes that they have a "common law" marriage. Ms. Montes also stated that she and Defendant have three other children (ages 7, 5, and 1) who are in the custody of Ms. Montes' mother. According to Ms. Montes, she and the Defendant have lost their parental rights to those children. The reasons for that action do not appear in the pretrial services report.

Defendant told the pretrial services officer that he has been employed by Mehmert Tiling for the past eight years. According to the I-9, however, Defendant's first day at work was November 3, 2014. Defendant is in good physical health, does not suffer from any mental illness, and denies abusing alcohol or using any kind of illegal controlled substances.

In 2008, Defendant was charged in Winneshiek County, where he resides, with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Defendant failed to appear for a pretrial conference and a warrant was issued for his arrest. That warrant remains active. Mr. Cole advised the Court, however, that he has spoken with the prosecutor in Winneshiek County, and it is anticipated that the warrant will be withdrawn. Mr. Cole also indicated that he anticipates Defendant will plead guilty to the OWI charge.

II. DISCUSSION

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

Regarding the first step, pretrial detention is not authorized unless the Court finds that 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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