United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Gregory F. Van Tatenhove United States District Judge
December 20, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Hanly A.
Ingram held a detention hearing for Defendant James Ronald
Jones. [R. 237.] Judge Ingram then determined Mr. Jones
should be detained pending trial pursuant to the Bail Reform
Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141, et seq.
[R. 240.] Nearly five months later, Mr. Jones now requests
reconsideration of that order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3145(b) by the undersigned. [R. 323.] For the reasons that
follow, the Court overrules Mr. Jones's objections to
Magistrate Judge Ingram's detention order, and Mr. Jones
shall remain in custody pending trial.
a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment in this
case on November 9, 2017, adding Mr. Jones as a defendant and
charging him with conspiracy to distribute controlled
substances, to include a quantity of pills containing
oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. [R. 181 at
1-2.] This conspiracy is in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1) and 846. Id.
with the Court's local practice, Magistrate Judge Hanly
A. Ingram presided over Mr. Jones's initial appearance,
arraignment, and detention hearing. [R. 224; R. 237.] Judge
Ingram determined detention was required in this case, and
imposed detention pending trial. [R. 240.] Mr. Jones
challenged this detention order and requests that this Court,
after a de novo review of the record and an
independent detention review hearing, release Mr. Jones
pending trial. [R. 323.]
detention order, Magistrate Judge Ingram discussed the
presumption of detention as to flight risk and danger that
applies to this case. [R. 240.] The findings in the detention
order were based on testimony of one Defense witness, Mr.
Christopher Snyder, who considered himself a close friend to
Mr. Jones, and Agent Kyle Sizemore, a Diversion Investigator
with the DEA. Id. at 1-2. Mr. Jones also submitted
several character letters. Id. Based on this
evidence, Judge Ingram found that Mr. Jones initially
rebutted the presumption of detention for flight risk and
danger. Id. at 5. However, the presumption of
detention does not completely disappear, even when a
defendant can rebut it. Instead, the presumption retains
evidentiary weight to be considered along with the other
factors of § 3142(g). United States v. Stone,
608 F.3d 939, 947 (6th Cir. 2010).
Judge Ingram found that the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(g) lean in favor of detention. [R. 240 at 5.] Mr.
Jones's charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone was
a pro-detention factor under § 3142(g)(1). Offenses
related to controlled substances are enumerated as offenses
where the nature and circumstances of the charged crime weigh
in favor of detention. § 3142 (g)(1). If Mr. Jones is
convicted of Count 1, he faces up to thirty years
imprisonment. [R. 240 at 5.]
Ingram also found that § 3142(g)(2) supported detention
of Mr. Jones prior to trial. He discussed how the weight of
the evidence regarding the dangerousness of Mr. Jones was
substantial, as the alleged conspiracy occurred while Mr.
Jones was serving parole. Id. at 6. Additionally,
evidence showed that Mr. Jones initially lied about being in
Sevierville, Tennessee, though hotel receipts were later able
to prove his whereabouts. Id. Judge Ingram
determined this behavior demonstrated disregard for his
parole conditions and thus disregard for additional
conditions of release. Id.
Judge Ingram determined that Mr. Jones's history and
characteristics under § 3142(g)(3) supported detention.
Id. Beginning at the age of twenty, Mr. Jones has
been convicted for burning motor vehicles, grand larceny,
possession with intent to distribute Cocaine Hydrochloride,
an attempt to commit felony burglary, and theft, possession,
and transportation of stolen vehicles. Id. The last
of these convictions occurred in 1995, but the alleged
conspiracy began in 2007, while Mr. Jones was serving out
conditions of parole from his last conviction. Id.
While Mr. Jones submitted twenty-three character letters
indicating he is a hardworking and considerate individual,
Judge Ingram determined his criminal history weighed in favor
of detention. Id.
Judge Ingram found that § 3142(g)(4) supported detention
of Mr. Jones. Id. at 7. The allegations of
burglaries of pharmacies in order to traffic in oxycodone is
a serious charge. Id. Such behavior is a danger to
the community. Additionally, Judge Ingram was concerned that
this conspiracy occurred during a period of parole for Mr.
Jones, and that Mr. Jones's statements related to his
stay in Sevierville were not consistent with hotel receipts
for which he signed. Id.
the § 3142 factors “combine to indicate
significant danger risks of a serious nature, ” and
these danger risks to the Community are what the Magistrate
Judge relied on to justify detention pending trial. Mr.
Jones, through counsel, now seeks review of Judge
Ingram's findings [R. 240], and the Court considers the
matter de novo. See, e.g., United States v.
Crane, No. 5:15-005-DCR, ...