United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
OPINION AND ORDER
K. CALDWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the defendant Melvin Tremayne
Mahone Jr.'s motion (DE 31) to revoke the magistrate
judge's detention order. For the following reasons, the
Court will deny the motion.
is charged with two criminal charges relating to the
distribution of heroin, and fentanyl, including one charge of
conspiring with his mother to distribute these drugs. The
government moved that he be detained pending trial. Pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1), a defendant must be detained
pending trial if, after a hearing, a judicial officer finds
that no condition or combination of conditions will
reasonably assure his appearance and public safety. Pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3), for any defendant charged
with the crimes at issue here, there is a rebuttable
presumption that no condition or combination of conditions
will reasonably assure the public safety or that the
defendant will meet his appearance obligations. There is no
dispute that the presumption applies in this case.
detention hearing, the magistrate judge determined that
Mahone rebutted the presumption as to his willingness to meet
his appearance obligations and as to the danger he posed to
the community. Nevertheless, the magistrate judge determined
that a consideration of the factors under 18 U.S.C. §
3142(g) required Mahone's detention pending trial because
no conditions of release could reasonably assure either his
appearance as required or the community's safety.
Court will conduct a de novo review of the
magistrate judge's detention order. The statute does not
specifically require that this Court conduct an additional
hearing. In his motion, Mahone does not request a hearing and
he does not rely on or explain any additional evidence that
he would proffer in support of the motion. Accordingly, a
second detention hearing is not necessary. See United
States v. Gaviria, 828 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir.1987);
United States v. Jones, No. 12:CR-105, 2012 WL
6737784, at * 1, n.1 (D. Conn. 2012); United States v.
Burks, 141 F.Supp.2d 1283, 1285 (D. Kan.
2001);United States v. Alonso, 832 F.Supp. 503, 504
(D. Puerto Rico 1993); United States v. Bergner, 800
F.Supp. 659, 661 (N.D.Ind.1992).
resolving this motion, the Court will rely on the audio
recording of the detention hearing, the indictment, the
pretrial report prepared by the United States Probation
Office, and the pleadings submitted by the parties.
the presumption of detention is invoked, the burden of
production shifts to the defendant. However, the burden of
persuasion regarding risk of flight and danger to the
community remains with the government. United States v.
Stone, 608 F.3d 939, 945 (6th Cir. 2010). The
defendant's burden of production is “not heavy,
” but he must produce some evidence that he does not
pose a danger to the community or risk of flight.
Id. Even if a defendant's burden of production
is met, the presumption remains a factor for consideration by
the district court in determining whether to release or
detain. Id The Court will assume, as the magistrate
judge found, that Mahone rebutted the detention presumption.
The Court finds detention nonetheless required under
§3142(g). In making this determination, the court is to
consider “the available information” on the
following factors: the nature and circumstances of the
offense, including whether the offense involves a controlled
substance or firearms; the weight of the evidence against the
person; the history and characteristics of the person; and
the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the
community posed by the person's release. 18 U.S.C. §
is charged with very serious offenses, including the
distribution of heroin and fentanyl, a particularly lethal
drug that has led to multiple deaths in this district alone.
Moreover, Mahone is charged with possessing and using
firearms during these offenses, including a semi-automatic
rifle and a short-barreled shotgun. If found guilty of these
offenses, Mahone faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 20
years - a mandatory 10 years each on two of the gun charges -
and a potential life sentence. At the time of his arrest,
officers found 60 grams of a substance containing the
heroin/fentanyl mix on him and multiple firearms in the
been unemployed since August 2016, has limited ties to
Kentucky, and concedes a history of substance abuse,
including a daily heroin habit until October 2016. The Court
recognizes that Mahone has made required court appearances
while released on the related state charges. Nevertheless, he
admitted to the U.S. probation officer that he used marijuana
daily until one month ago. This clearly violates the terms of
his state bond. Further, the 20-year minimum and potential
life term at issue on these federal charges certainly
increases the flight risk. Further, Mahone has a lengthy
history of failing to appear and ignoring court-imposed
conditions in various other state-court proceedings since
2007. In fact, he has had 13 bench warrants issued for his
arrest. Further, he has a prior federal felony drug
conviction and committed various offenses while on supervised
release for that conviction.
Court finds that the government has proved by clear and
convincing evidence that no condition or combination of
conditions could reasonably assure that Mahone will meet his
appearance obligations or assure the community's safety
if he is not detained. Considering the serious nature of the
charges against Mahone, his history of unemployment and lack
of substantial ties to the community, the significant danger
posed by controlled substances and the particular danger
posed by fentanyl and the firearms at issue here,
Mahone's history of drug abuse and trafficking, and
Mahone's willingness to violate court-imposed conditions
and his history of failing to meet his appearance obligations
in other cases, the Court finds that Mahone must be detained.
This conclusion is consistent with that of the magistrate
judge and the United States Probation Office.
the Court hereby ORDERS that Mahone's motion to revoke or
amendment the magistrate judge's ...