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United States v. Iverson

United States District Court, W.D. New York

November 10, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ELIJAH IVERSON, Defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER

RICHARD J. ARCARA, District Judge.

The defendant, Elijah Iverson, was indicted on October 31, 2014 on drug-trafficking and weapons charges. The case is before the Court on appeal by the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145 of an order that defendant Iverson be afforded pretrial release, conditioned on an electronically-monitored curfew and the posting of a combination of cash and property worth $25, 000. The United States argues defendant poses a danger to the community and a flight risk for whom no sufficient conditions of release are available, and that defendant should be detained pending trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e).

During oral argument of the appeal on November 5, 2014, the United States proffered that, since the conditional release order of Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy on October 31, 2014, the United States has obtained forensic test results showing that 59.3 grams of suspected cocaine base were among items seized by municipal police from defendant Iverson's apartment days before the Indictment was returned. The United States proffered it will seek to charge defendant with possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of the alleged cocaine base, potentially triggering a total mandatory-minimum term of imprisonment for defendant of 15 years.[1] Upon de novo review of all the circumstances, and for reasons stated below, the Court finds no conditions or combinations of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community and the appearance of defendant at trial. Accordingly, defendant shall be detained pending trial.

BACKGROUND

Defendant Iverson is charged in an Indictment returned on October 31, 2014 with the following five offenses:

Count 1 charges possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C);
Count 2 charges possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D);
Count 3 charges maintaining a drug-involved premises in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856;
Count 4 charges possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i); and
Count 5 charges possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person who has previously been convicted of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and 924(a)(2).

Defendant was arraigned and a detention hearing held before the Magistrate Judge on October 31, 2014.

The United States proffered that the charges in the Indictment arise from seizures from defendant Iverson's apartment by municipal police on October 23, and 24, 2014 of small bags of powder cocaine, two grocery bags containing marijuana, $634 inside a safe, two digital scales, a loaded Ruger, Mini 14, .223 caliber rifle with a 30-round magazine, and 19 rounds of.233 caliber ammunition. Defendant allegedly made statements suggesting he was selling narcotics. For example, defendant identified a bag of white powder near a bag of powder cocaine as "cutter, " a term the police recognized as a reference to "cut, " a substance used to dilute cocaine to increase its volume for resale. The bag of white powder defendant referred to as cut field-tested positive for cocaine, however.

Defendant Iverson had allegedly called municipal police to come to his apartment complaining of a man in a hallway with a gun. At some point after permitting the police to enter his apartment, defendant described circumstances suggesting he was a victim of an attempted armed-robbery conspiracy.[2]

Defendant Iverson argues on appeal that the conditions imposed upon his pretrial release by the Magistrate Judge are sufficient to ensure the safety of the community and his appearances in Court as required. The Magistrate Judge ordered defendant to submit to electronic monitoring with a curfew, ordered that defendant would need to post a residence he owns, and in which his mother resides, together with ...


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