United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
KATHERINE P. NELSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter came before the undersigned on February 14, 2017 for a
pretrial conference. Present at the conference were the
following: Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Bullard;
Frederick Helmsing, Esq., counsel for Defendant Heather
Turner Erwin, and Cynthia Burney, Esq., counsel for Defendant
Frank Peter Salamone. On February 14, 2017 AUSA Bullard filed
a motion to continue the trial of this matter from its
current March 2017 setting. (Doc. 47). As grounds
for the motion the United States maintains, in sum, that the
co-defendant, Marangely Conde was arrested February 9, 2017,
in the Middle District of Florida and is scheduled to be
arraigned in the Southern District of Alabama on February 22,
2017. As such, she will be set for trial during the April
2017 trial term. Ms. Conde is the final co-defendant to be
arrested in this case and the United States seeks a one month
continuance of trial so that the jointly indicted defendants
may be tried together.
Helmsing advises that his client, Defendant Erwin, has no
objection to the motion. However, Ms. Burney advises that her
client, Defendant Salamone, opposes the motion and has filed
written objections. (Doc. 49) Defendant Salamone objects to
the continuance on the grounds, in sum, that he is the sole
financial provider for his family and his continued detention
is causing his family an extreme hardship. (Doc.
are charged in a four count indictment with conspiracy to
distribute Methylphenidate Hydrochloride (Ritalin),
conspiracy to import Methylphenidate Hydrochloride (Ritalin),
Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methylphenidate
Hydrochloride (Ritalin) and Importation of a Controlled
Substance. (Doc. 1) The undersigned notes that no motion for
severance has been filed and the defendants are still joined
undersigned finds that the ends of justice served by
continuing this action for one (1) month outweighs the best
interests of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial.
18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Specifically, the ends of
justice served by continuing the trial of Ms. Erwin and Mr.
Salamone so their cases can be tried simultaneously with that
of their recently arrested co-defendant, "outweighs the
best interest of the public and the defendants in a speedy
trial." 18 U.S.C.A. 3161(h)(7)(A). Specifically, because
all three defendants are charged in the Indictment with
participating in the same act or in the same series of acts
or transactions (drug conspiracy, ), it is more efficient for
all involved to proceed on the case in one trial. For
purposes of the Speedy Trial Act, any delay resulting from
this continuance is excludable pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
3161(h)(6) ("A reasonable period of delay when the
defendant is joined for trial with a co-defendant as to whom
the time for trial has not run and no motion for severance
has been granted.").
these circumstances, and upon consideration of the objections
filed by Defendant Salamone, the motion to continue is
granted and this case is hereby CONTINUED to
the April 2017 criminal term. For purposes
of the Speedy Trial Act, any delay resulting from this
continuance is excludable pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
defendant and his/her respective counsel filing a Speedy
Trial Waiver on or before February 24,
2017. The Clerk is directed to refer this matter
to Magistrate Judge Sonja Bivins to set a pretrial conference
in March 2017.
AUSA Bullard made an oral motion to
continue at the time of the pretrial conference. Ms. Burney
indicated that her client was opposed to a continuance. As
such the undersigned requested that the AUSA file a formal
motion and that Ms. Burney file her objections
 Defendant Salamones detention hearing
was initially conducted in the Southern District of
Mississippi. The magistrate judge ordered Defendant detained
based on the amount of time defendant faced if convicted and
the fact that defendant tested positive for methamphetamine.
Upon motion of defense counsel, the undersigned held a second
detention hearing at which time it was represented that if
convicted the Defendant is facing a range of 0-6 months.
Additionally, Defendants drug test returned negative from the
National Lab. Thereafter, the undersigned set conditions of
release, which included that Salamone have suitable housing.
Defendants co-defendant (spouse) was released by the judge in
Mississippi to the family home. Because defendants are
charged in a drug conspiracy the undersigned concluded that
they could not reside together pending the resolution of this
 The waiver shall include language
which reflects that (A) counsel has discussed the reasons for
seeking a continuance with Defendant; (B) Defendant
understands that the time requested in the motion to continue
trial of this matter will be excluded from any calculations
of time under the Speedy Trial Act; and (3) with this
understanding and knowledge, Defendant ...