United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BURKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action is before the Court on the Defendant Flemmings
Chatman's Motion for the District Court to Review,
Consider Objections To, and Set Aside the Magistrate
Judge's Order Pending Trial. (Doc. 95). The Defendant
also filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Supplement His
Previously Filed Motion. (Doc. 111). For the reasons stated
below, both motions are due to be denied.
Defendant was arrested on October 1, 2019, and was charged
with Conspiracy to Possess and Distribute Cocaine and
Methamphetamine and Using a Communication Facility to Commit
a Drug Trafficking Crime. (Doc. 100, p. 1). At his detention
hearing on October 4, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge
John H. England, III, determined that the Defendant was not
eligible for release on bond. (Doc. 110, p. 66). Pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 3142, the Magistrate Judge determined there
was clear and convincing evidence to detain the Defendant
based on his alleged participation in distributing narcotics,
previous drug related arrests, and prior attempts to elude
law enforcement. (Text Order of Detention, Doc. 73).
determining whether a defendant should be detained pending
trial, a judicial officer must consider the factors in 18
U.S.C. § 3142(g), including: the nature of the offense,
the weight of the evidence against the person, the history
and characteristics of the person, and the danger to the
community posed by the defendant. District courts are
required to “undertake de novo review of the
pretrial detention determinations of the magistrates.”
United States v. Hurtado, 779 F.2d 1467,
1481 (11th Cir. 1985). “[T]he district court must
undertake an independent review of these [detention]
cases, enter its own findings in writing, and set forth the
reasons supporting its decision, making provisions as set
forth in subsection [18 U.S.C. § 3124] (i)(1) through
(4).” Id. at 1480 (emphasis in original).
case, there is a rebuttable presumption that the Defendant
should be detained pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3124(e)(3)(A). After conducting a de novo
review and independently assessing the transcript and both
Pretrial Services Reports (“PSR”), the Court
finds the 3124(g) factors weigh in favor of detaining the
Defendant. During the hearing, DEA Agent Matthew Wells
testified that his organization had been monitoring the
Defendant and other members of the alleged cohort for three
years. (Doc. 110, p. 4). Agent Wells stated that after the
Defendant's arrest, agents found an assault rifle,
handgun, 13, 000 dollars, two packages of marijuana, and a
package believed to be a controlled substance at the
Defendant's presumed residence. Id. at 11. Agent
Wells also proffered more evidence about the Defendant's
involvement in the crime including communication between the
Defendant and an alleged co-conspirator. Id. at 12.
United States Probation Officer Crystal Smith testified at
the hearing as well. Id. at 22. She initially
supported releasing the Defendant on bond in her first PSR,
Id. at 20, but changed her position in part because
she received information that there was a pattern of the
Defendant eluding law enforcement. Id. at 31.
the amended PSR provides the Defendant was arrested for
attempting to flee law enforcement in December 2015. The
report also provides that in July 2014, the Defendant was
implicated in an incident in which he allegedly fled a police
officer, drove on the wrong side of the road, and ran a stop
sign. (Amended PSR, p. 7). Further, the report notes that the
Defendant was a passenger in a car that fled police.
Id. at 8. The PSR also indicates the Defendant was
charged with distributing cocaine and promoting prison
contraband in August 2009. (Original PSR, p. 5). While the
Defendant argues Ms. Smith's initial recommendation
should control and he was not arrested for two of these
flights, (Doc. 95, p. 5), he has not rebutted the presumption
against his detention with respect to the evidence presented
during the hearing and both PSRs. The Defendant also argues
that he should have the chance to amend his complaint because
the weight of the evidence against him in this case weak. The
weight of the evidence against the Defendant is only one
factor the Court considers in its finding for detention. The
Court also finds the Defendant's past drug related
convictions, incidents eluding law enforcement, and nature of
this offense weigh in favor of continuing detention.
IT IS ORDERED that the Defendant's Motion for the
District Court to Review, Consider Objections To, and Set
Aside the Magistrate Judge's Order Pending Trial (Doc.
95) and Motion for Leave of Court to Supplement His
Previously Filed Motion (Doc. 111) are DENIED.
FURTHER ORDERED the Defendant shall be committed to the
custody of the Attorney General for confinement in a suitable
FURTHER ORDERED the Defendant be afforded reasonable
opportunity for private consultation with his counsel.
FURTHER ORDERED the person in charge of the corrections
facility in which the Defendant is detained deliver the
Defendant to the United States Marshall for appearances
related to this court proceeding.
 In the hearing, the Government
incorrectly stated there was no presumption of detention in
this case. This presumption exists as the Defendant was
charged with two offenses under ...