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United States v. Dickson

United States District Court, W.D. New York

August 25, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
LEVON DICKSON, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HONORABLE RICHARD J. ARCARA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Government moves, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3145(a)(1), to revoke Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy's conditional order releasing the Defendant pending trial. After de novo review, and for the reasons stated below, the Government's motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         The complaint alleges that, in June and July of this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made three controlled purchases of cocaine from the Defendant. See 17-mj-01086-JJM, Docket No. 1, ¶ 6. The cocaine from those purchases weighed, in total, approximately 2.5 ounces. Id. The complaint also alleges that, on August 3, 2017, agents "learned that [the Defendant] possessed one ounce of cocaine intended for distribution." Id. ¶ 8. After learning this information, agents stopped the Defendant in his car, arrested him, and recovered the cocaine. Id.

         Following his arrest, and after being read his Miranda rights, the Defendant allegedly made several incriminating statements. Specifically, the complaint alleges the Defendant stated that: (1) he possessed "approximately six to seven ounces of cocaine" in his bedroom; (2) he possessed a digital scale, which was located beneath his bed; (3) he had $4, 000 in cash in his bedroom closet; (4) he "does not use cocaine and only sells it"; (5) he had sold "over 500 grams of cocaine in Erie County within the past month"; and (6) he has a regular supplier for the cocaine he distributes. Id. ¶ 9.

         On the same day the Defendant was arrested, agents executed a search warrant for his house. In the Defendant's bedroom, agents found "several ounces of cocaine, " a digital scale, and "an undetermined amount of U.S. currency." Id. ¶ 10.

         At the Defendant's initial appearance before Judge McCarthy on August 4, 2017, the Government moved for detention. After a detention hearing on August 7, Judge McCarthy denied the Government's motion and conditionally ordered the Defendant released on a number of conditions. Judge McCarthy ordered, among other conditions:

• That the Defendant reside with his mother;
• That the Defendant post a $50, 000 bond secured by his mother's home and his aunt's home;
• That defense counsel confirm that the Defendant would be able to return to his job upon release (defense counsel confirmed this fact);
• That the Defendant be placed on electronic monitoring with home detention and that he be permitted to leave his residence for only a handful of reasons, such as work, court appearances, and religious services;
• That the Defendant not use alcohol, with zero tolerance for any alcohol use;
• That the Defendant surrender his passport and refrain from obtaining a passport or other travel documents;
• That the Defendant's travel be limited to the Western District of New York;
• That the Defendant not possess or use any narcotics or controlled substances;
• That the Defendant submit to testing as required by the Probation Office for purposes of detecting the presence and use of illicit substances; and
• That the Defendant participate in substance abuse therapy as directed by the Probation Office.

         Judge McCarthy remanded the Defendant pending Pretrial Services' inspection of the Defendant's mother's home.

         Pretrial Services inspected the Defendant's mother's home the next day. According to the Pretrial Services Officer, he asked the "the defendant's mother ... if there were any weapons in the home, " and "she advised there were not."[1] During the inspection, the Pretrial Services Officer found "in the basement, on a table ... a tied off plastic sandwich bag containing 14 .45 caliber bullets. The defendant's mother stated she was not sure who they belonged to and denied there were any firearms in the residence." Judge McCarthy directed that the Defendant's mother's home be cleaned up and that Pretrial Services conduct another search.[2]

         The Government then filed a motion with this Court to revoke Judge ...


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