United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Frankfort
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, Judge
March 19, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Matthew A.
Stinnett held a detention hearing for Defendant Fei Guo Tang.
[R. 16.] Judge Stinnett then determined Mr. Tang should be
detained pending trial pursuant to the Bail Reform Act of
1984, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141, et seq. [R. 18.]
Now, Mr. Tang has requested revocation of that order pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b) by the undersigned. [R. 19.]
Because no conditions or combination of conditions for
release would reasonably assure the safety of the community,
the Court DENIES Mr. Tang's motion and
Mr. Tang shall remain in custody pending trial.
Tang was initially indicted on March 7, 2019, for bringing in
and harboring aliens in violation of 8 U.S.C. §1324,
paying his employees less than minimum wage in violation of
29 U.S.C. §§ 206 and 215-16, failure to pay his
employees overtime in violation of 29 U.S.C. §§ 207
and 215-16, and possession of child pornography in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2252. [R. 1.] After Judge Stinnett's
detention order, on May 22, 2019, the Grand Jury returned a
superseding indictment, adding five counts of receipt of
child pornography and one count of distribution of child
pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252. [R. 23.]
Additionally, the superseding indictment alleges Mr. Tang
obstructed justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512, by
instructing his employee to lie before the grand jury.
Id. at 5-6.
with the Court's local practice, Magistrate Judge Matthew
A. Stinnett presided over Mr. Tang's initial appearance,
arraignment, and detention hearing. [R. 11; R. 16; R. 28; R.
31.] Judge Stinnett determined detention was required in this
case, and imposed detention pending trial. [R. 18.] Mr. Tang
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. Tang
pending trial. [R. 19.]
time of the detention hearing, none of Mr. Tang's alleged
crimes required the presumption of detention. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(e)(3). However, after the addition of child
pornography charges in the superseding indictment, defense
counsel conceded during a hearing before the undersigned that
this case now presents a presumption of detention. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(e)(3)(E). The findings in the detention order
were based on the testimony of Department of State Special
Agent Tracy Lunsford, and Mr. Tang introduced no witnesses.
[R. 17.] Because there was no presumption of detention, Judge
Stinnett did not determine whether Mr. Tang rebutted such a
determination, only that he posed a risk of flight and a risk
of danger to the community. [R. 18.] At the detention review
hearing before the undersigned, Special Agent Lunsford again
testified, and this time, Mr. Tang called as a witness his
daughter, Wendy Tang. [R. 38.]
determining that Mr. Tang was a flight risk, Judge Stinnett
found that the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)
lean in favor of detention. [R. 18 at 7.] While Judge
Stinnett determined that his employment-related charges were
insufficient to warrant detention, Mr. Tang's charge of
possession of child pornography was a pro-detention factor
under § 3142(g)(1). Offenses involving a minor victim
are enumerated as offenses where the nature and circumstances
of the charged crime weigh in favor of detention. § 3142
Stinnett did not make an explicit determination as to whether
§ 3142(g)(2) supported detention but noted that his
alleged crimes involved minor victims. Id. at 5-6.
Additionally, testimony at the detention hearing suggested
that Mr. Tang asked his employees to lie during Grand Jury
Mr. Tang's history and characteristics under §
3142(g)(3), Judge Stinnett found this factor to be
“neutral.” Id. at 6. Nothing in Mr.
Tang's history suggests he is violent or has substance
abuse issues. Id. However, Judge Stinnett notes that
Mr. Tang does have a criminal history, including a 2009
conviction for harboring illegal aliens. Id. His
indictment for the same activity a decade later suggests a
disregard for the law. Id.
Judge Stinnett found that § 3142(g)(4) supported
detention of Mr. Tang. Id. at 6-7. The allegations
of child pornography and of attempts to obstruct justice
concerned Judge Stinnett, and he determined these allegations
posed a danger to both the community and the judicial
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. Tang,
through counsel, now seeks review of Judge Stinnett's
findings, and the Court considers the matter de
novo. See, e.g., United States v. Crane, No.