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United States v. McReynolds

United States District Court, D. Arizona

January 16, 2019

United States, Plaintiff,
v.
Loren Joel McReynolds, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID G. CAMPBELL, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant Loren McReynolds asks the Court to release him until the resolution of this case. His motion is presented either as a review of Judge Burns' detention order under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b), or as a renewed motion for release. Doc. 50. The Court will deny the motion.

         Defendant is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements, four Lacey Act counts, and two violations of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act. Doc. 1. One Lacey Act count and the two Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act counts are misdemeanors, and the remaining seven counts are Class C and D felonies, the most serious of which carry potential guideline sentences of several years and maximum statutory sentences of 10 years. Id.

         Judge Burns detained Defendant as a danger to the community. Doc. 31. She also found him to be a flight risk, but concluded that there were conditions of release that would assure his appearance at trial. Id. Judge McDonald previously had detained Defendant as a flight risk and danger, but Judge Burns agreed to rehear the issue after newly appointed counsel asserted that Defendant's first attorney had a conflict of interest. Docs. 16, 27.

         A. Timeliness of Motion.

         Defendant concedes that his motion is untimely under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 59(a), which requires objections to a magistrate judge's decision within 14 days. His motion was filed seven months after Judge Burns' decision. The Court nonetheless retains discretion to review an untimely objection, United States v. Tooze, 236 F.R.D. 442, 446 (D. Ariz. 2006), and will exercise its discretion to review the decision in this case.

         B. Legal Standards.

         The Court reviews the detention decision de novo. See United States v. Koenig, 912 F.2d 1190, 1192-93 (9th Cir. 1990). The Court must “review the evidence before the magistrate” and any additional evidence submitted by the parties “and make its own independent determination whether the magistrate's findings are correct, with no deference.” Id. at 1193. The Court is not required to hold a new evidentiary hearing, and in this case concludes that the parties' briefing provides a sufficient basis for de novo review. See United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673-76 (1980).

         The government contends that Judge Burns did not err in deciding that Defendant should be detained as a danger to the community. The government must prove that he is a danger by clear and convincing evidence. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f). Clear and convincing evidence is proof that a factual contention is “highly probable.” Colorado v. New Mexico, 467 U.S. 310, 316 (1984).

         C. Defendant Will Be Detained as a Danger to the Community.

         The Bail Reform Act identifies four general factors to consider in deciding whether a defendant should be detained: the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the weight of the evidence, the history and characteristics of the defendant, and the nature and seriousness of the danger to the community. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g).

         1. Nature and Circumstances of the Offenses.

         The indictment charges criminal conduct stretching over a four-year period, from early 2013 to September 2017. Doc. 1. The most serious charges are felon in possession of a firearm. As will be discussed below, Defendant has several previous felonies. He is now charged with possessing a firearm on two separate occasions in 2016 and 2017. Doc. 1 at 2. The government's evidence suggests that Defendant arranged for his girlfriend to purchase a rifle and then used the rifle during the guided hunting trips at issue in this case.

         Defendant is also accused of structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements. The government's evidence suggests that Defendant made numerous deposits and withdrawals of just under $10, 000 to avoid federal reporting obligations. When asked by a bank teller why he was ...


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