United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
H. THOMPSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
superseding indictment charges defendant Clarence Wright
Lane, Jr. with 14 counts: one count of possessing a firearm
known to be stolen, eight counts of disposing of a firearm to
a convicted felon, one count of conspiring to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of
methamphetamine, and four counts of possessing with intent to
distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Following his
arrest, the magistrate judge held a hearing and ordered him
to be detained pending trial. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3145(b), Lane moved for this court to review the magistrate
judge's detention order and revoke that order.
on an independent and de novo review of the
transcript of the testimony presented to the magistrate
judge, as well additional argument and evidence before this
court, the court agrees that Lane poses a danger to the
community and will therefore order that he remain detained
court must order Lane's detention if, after a hearing, it
finds that “no condition or combination of conditions
will reasonably assure [his] appearance ... as required and
the safety of any other person and the community.” 18
U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). The government bears the burden of
proving (1) by a preponderance of the evidence that no
condition or conditions will reasonably ensure his
appearance, or (2) by clear and convincing evidence that no
condition or conditions will ensure the safety of any other
person and the community. See United States v.
Quartermaine, 913 F.2d 910, 915 (11th Cir. 1990).
Lane faces a sentence of more than 10 years on his drug
charges, he is subject to a rebuttable presumption that no
condition or conditions will ensure his appearance or the
safety of the community. See 18 U.S.C. §
3142(e)(3)(A). Accordingly, he has the burden of production
to come forward with evidence to rebut the presumption.
See Quartermaine, 913 F.2d at 916. Even if Lane
satisfies his burden of production, the presumption
“remains in the case as an evidentiary finding
militating against release.” Id. Crucially,
however, the rebuttable presumption triggered by his drug
charges does not shift the ultimate burden of persuasion as
to flight risk or dangerousness, which remains with the
government. See id.
court must consider four factors in making its detention
determination: “(1) the nature and circumstances of the
offense charged ...; (2) the weight of the evidence against
the person; (3) the history and characteristics of the person
...; and (4) the nature and seriousness of the danger to any
person or the community that would be posed by the
person's release.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g).
parties agree that this court reviews the magistrate
judge's detention order de novo.
court agrees with the magistrate judge's conclusion that
the government has met its burden of proving, by clear and
convincing evidence, that “no condition or combination
of conditions will reasonably assure ... the safety of any
other person and the community.” Id. at §
3142(e)(1). This court's finding is based on the
following facts: Lane is charged with selling a substantial
amount of methamphetamine--allegedly more than 470 grams--and
a significant number of guns (more than a dozen). He
allegedly sold the guns--including a rifle and semi-automatic
handguns--to a man he knew to be a convicted felon. Moreover,
the drug charges triggered the rebuttable presumption in
favor of determining that he poses a danger, which is
“an evidentiary finding militating against
release.” Quartermaine, 913 F.2d at 916.
Finally, there appears to be strong evidence against him,
including controlled purchases by law enforcement and video
and audio identifying him in at least a number of the gun
transactions. In sum, the record reflects that he is a danger
to the community because there is apparently solid evidence
that he sold a substantial quantity of methamphetamine and
finding that the government met its burden as to Lane's
dangerousness is sufficient to mandate his detention pursuant
to section 3142(e)(1). Consequently, the court need not
address whether the magistrate judge correctly found that the
government satisfied its burden as to flight risk.
it is ORDERED that:
(1) Defendant Clarence Wright Lane, Jr.'s motion (doc.
no. 42) is granted to the extent he seeks review of the