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United States of America v. Calvin Young

August 6, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
CALVIN YOUNG, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Richard J. Arcara United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

The defendant, Calvin Young, has been in pretrial detention since his arrest on March 30, 2012, for his alleged role in a cocaine-trafficking conspiracy violating 21 U.S.C. § 846. Defendant Young was ordered detained by Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr., pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e) on grounds that he is a danger to the community and a serious risk of flight for whom no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community and the appearances of the defendant in court as required. The defendant appeals his pretrial detention to this Court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3145(b) and seeks release from pretrial detention on bail conditions.

On July 30,2012, the Court heard oral argument of defendant Young's appeal of the Magistrate Judge's detention order. Defendant Young repeated his earlier arguments in support of his request for pretrial release. After considering the parties' arguments, the prior proceedings in this case, and the United States' short proffer of the evidence against defendant Young, the Court denies the defendant's appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). The Court finds that the defendant is a danger to the community and a risk of flight for whom no available conditions or combinations of conditions of release will adequately protect the community and assure his appearances as required.

BACKGROUND

Defendant Young is charged in a one-count Superseding Indictment with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. More specifically, the Superseding Indictment and the United States' proffer in support of detention of the defendant tends to establish that the defendant was a member of a drug-trafficking conspiracy that had existed since at least November 2011, and that the conspiracy had trafficked in multiple-kilogram quantities of cocaine. Specifically, the United States proffers that it has evidence to demonstrate that the conspiracy trafficked in approximately 40 to 50 kilograms of cocaine a month. The Superseding Indictment seeks the criminal forfeiture of $4 million on a proceeds theory.

At the time of his arrest on the pending charge, defendant Young had been observed by law enforcement agents engaging in alleged drug trafficking activity. Although the defendant has no legitimate means of support, $360,005 cash was seized from the defendant by law enforcement officers. The United States proffers that the cash was proceeds of the sale of approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine.

The United States also proffers that items that could be related to drug trafficking, some small plastic bags and gloves, were seized during execution of a search warrant at the defendant's residence.

If convicted of the charge against him in the Superseding Indictment, defendant Young faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years' imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment. The defendant faces a fine of up to $10 million. Given the quantity of cocaine within the scope of the conspiracy with which the defendant is charged, and his criminal record, the defendant is likely to face an advisory range of imprisonment under applicable Sentencing Guidelines of more than 20 years imprisonment.

Defendant Young has prior convictions on weapons charges. In 1997, he was sentenced to three-years probation for his first weapons-related conviction. Approximately one year later, he was charged with possession of a loaded firearm. He resolved that charge in 1999 by guilty plea to attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a New York State Class E felony. The defendant was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation. In 2010, the defendant was yet again charged with weapons possession. He pled to a misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon charge.

A detention hearing was held on April 4, 2012. Magistrate Judge Schroeder issued his Order of Detention Pending Trial on April 10, 2012. The Order of Detention granted the detention motion of the United States and ordered defendant Young to remain in the custody of the United States Marshals pending trial or further order of the Court.

Defendant Young's prior counsel filed an appeal of the Order of Detention on April 20, 2012. The defendant's prior counsel, who was assigned, was relieved in favor of retained counsel by docket entry dated April 27, 2012. The defendant's retained counsel has experienced some temporary incapacitating health problems that caused the delay of the Court's hearing of argument of the defendant's appeal of the Order of Detention until July 30, 2012.

DISCUSSION

Bail Reform Act of 1984. The appeal of a Magistrate Judge's pretrial detention order to this Court is to be "promptly determined." 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). In reviewing the order, this Court "should not simply defer to the judgment of the [M]agistrate, but [should] reach its own independent conclusion." United States v. Leon, 766 F.2d 77, 80 (2d Cir. 1985).

Under the Bail Reform Act of 1984,18 U.S.C. §§ 3141-3156, a criminal defendant should be released on bail pending trial "unless ... such release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community." 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (b) (ellipsis supplied). The Bail Reform Act ...


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