United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division
Williams United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on defendant's Motion for
Review of Detention Order, filed on February 18, 2019. (Doc.
18). The government timely filed a resistance. (Doc. 19). For
the following reasons, the Court denies the
February 5, 2019, a grand jury returned an indictment
charging defendant with: conspiracy to distribute
methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count
1); one count of distribution of methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), and
841(b)(1)(B) (Count 2); an addition count of distribution of
methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 841(b)(1)(B) (Count 3); and
possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and
841(b)(1)(A) (Count 4). On February 8, 2019, defendant
appeared before the Honorable Mark A. Roberts, United States
Magistrate Judge, for an initial appearance and arraignment.
On February 12, 2019, defendant appeared before Judge Roberts
for a detention hearing. Defendant appeared in court with her
attorney, Chad Frese. Assistant United States Attorney Emily
Nydle represented the government. At the hearing, Judge
Roberts ordered Defendant detained, and he entered an order
to that effect on February 13, 2019. (Docs. 16 & 17).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for revocation of a detention order is governed by 18
U.S.C. Section 3145(b), which provides:
If a person is ordered detained by a magistrate judge, or by
a person other than a judge of a court having original
jurisdiction over the offense and other than a Federal
appellate court, the person may file, with the court having
original jurisdiction over the offense, a motion for
revocation or amendment of the order. The motion shall be
18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). The court reviews a Section 3145(b)
motion de novo. See United States v. Maull, 773 F.2d
1479, 1481 (8th Cir. 1985) (en banc). The court is required
to detain a defendant prior to trial if the court
“finds that no condition or combination of conditions
will reasonably assure the appearance of the [defendant] as
required and the safety of any other person and the
community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). A finding
“that no condition or set of conditions . . . will
reasonably assure the defendant's appearance” must
be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. United
States v. Orta, 760 F.2d 887, 891 (8th Cir. 1985)
(emphasis omitted). In contrast, “[t]he facts the
[court] uses to support a finding . . . that no condition or
combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety
of any other person and the community shall be supported by
clear and convincing evidence.” Id. §
motion for review, defendant asserts that Judge Roberts erred
in finding that defendant poses a risk of flight and a danger
to the community. (Doc. 18, at 1.) After conducting a de novo
review of the record, including the Pretrial Services Report
(Doc. 13) and the transcript of the detention hearing (Doc.
20), the Court finds that, for the reasons that follow,
detention is appropriate in this case. See 18 U.S.C.
the court considers the nature and circumstances of the
offense alleged, including whether the offense involved
violence or a firearm. See id. § 3142(g)(1).
Defendant is charged with multiple drug trafficking offenses.
Defendant is alleged to have been selling multiple pounds of
pure methamphetamine per month. (See Doc. 20, at
9-10). Although defendant is not charged with any violent or
firearm-related offenses, the sheer scale of the drug
activity raises a concern about the danger she poses to the
community. See United States v. Cantu, 935 F.2d 950,
952 (8th Cir. 1991) (“[W]e recognize the congressional
determination that large scale drug trafficking is a serious
danger to the community . . . .” (quoting United
States v. Sazenski, 806 F.2d 846, 848 (8th Cir. 1986))).
Accordingly, this factor weighs in favor of detention.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)(1).
the court considers the weight of the evidence against
defendant. See Id. § 3142(g)(2). At the
hearing, Sergeant Steven Erceg of the Linn County
Sheriff's Office testified that a confidential informant
made two controlled purchases from defendant, at least one of
which was video recorded, for a total of approximately three
ounces of methamphetamine. (Doc. 20, at 5-7). Sergeant Erceg
testified that he executed a search warrant at
defendant's residence and discovered more than 500 grams
of methamphetamine, a scale, a glass pipe, packaging
materials, and nearly $5, 000 in cash. (Id., at
10-11). In a post-Miranda interview, defendant
admitted she had been selling methamphetamine for at least
one year, averaging one pound every other week and sometimes
as much as six pounds per month. (Id., at 9-10). The
evidence against defendant is strong, and, therefore, the
Court finds that this factor weighs in favor of detention.
the court considers the history and characteristics of
Defendant. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)(3). Defendant has lived
in Cedar Rapids for nearly her entire life, having resided
out of state only for a few years in her early adulthood.
(Doc. 13, at 1). Defendant has significant ties to the area
as her parents, several siblings, and three children all
reside in or around Cedar Rapids. (Id., at 1-2).
Defendant's work history is inconsistent; she maintained
a steady job from 2003 until 2012 but has worked only
sporadically since then with significant lapses in her
employment. (Id., at 2-3). Defendant has one prior
instance of failing to appear for a court date, a sentencing
on a misdemeanor in 2013. (Id., at 5). It appears,
however, that the matter was quickly resolved as the warrant
was recalled four days later and ...