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United States v. Maldonado-Alarcon

United States District Court, D. Idaho

September 29, 2014



B. LYNN WINMILL, Chief District Judge.

The Court has before it Defendant Ulvaldo Maldonado-Alarcon's Appeal to District Court of Magistrate Judge Dale's Order of Detention entered in this action on August 19, 2014. (Dkt. 17).


On July 13, 2014, Defendant was stopped by an Idaho State Police Trooper for a minor traffic violation. Compl., 2, Dkt. 1. The trooper found drug paraphernalia and marijuana in Defendant's car, and arrested him. Id. The U.S. Border Patrol reviewed Defendant's immigration records and determined that he had been removed from the United States several times without permission. Id. at 3-4.

On July 22, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Defendant, alleging that he had illegally reentered the United States after being deported to Mexico in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a) and (b). Following Defendant's initial appearance, the Government moved to detain him (Dkt. 6), contending that Defendant is a risk of flight and that no combination of conditions will adequately assure the presence of Defendant at the trial.

A hearing on this matter was held on August 19, 2014, before United States Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Dale ordered Defendant detained, and Defendant appealed.


1. Standard of Review

A person detained by order of a Magistrate Judge may file a motion for revocation or amendment of the order with the District Judge presiding over his case. 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). The motion shall be determined promptly. Id. The procedures for review of the detention order under 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b) are governed by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 9. U.S. v. Fernandez-Alfonso, 816 F.2d 477, 478 (9th Cir.1987). "Rule 9(a) requires that the district court state in writing the reasons for the action taken when it enters an order refusing or imposing conditions of release." Id. (Citing Fed. R.App. P. 9).

The District Judge must review the Magistrate Judge's decision de novo. U.S. v. Koenig, 912 F.2d 1190, 1193 (9th Cir.1990). But the "court is not required to start over in every case, and proceed as if the magistrate's decision and findings did not exist." Id. Still, the District Judge "should review the evidence before the magistrate and make its own independent determination whether the magistrate's findings are correct, with no deference." Id. The District Judge has discretion to conduct a hearing, but a hearing is not required. See e.g., U.S. v. Spears, 2010 WL 2427439 (N.D.Ind.2010); U.S. v. Baghdasaryan, 2010 WL 2545993 (D.Kan. 2010); U.S. v. Baker, 703 F.Supp. 34 (N.D.Tex., 1989). In the end, the District Judge must make its own de novo determination of the facts and of the propriety of detention. Koenig, 912 F.2d at 1193.

2. Proceedings Below

During the detention hearing, Judge Dale admitted four government exhibits: (1) a criminal judgment establishing that in March 2013, Defendant was convicted in the United States District Court of Arizona for Illegal Entry into the United States; (2) a judgment establishing that in February 1998, Defendant was convicted in United States District Court of Arizona for Illegal Entry; (3) a State of California complaint and abstract of judgment establishing that in December 1999, Defendant was convicted for unlawfully possessing methamphetamine, a felony; and (4) a pretrial services report recommending detention based upon Defendant's immigration status and prior criminal history.

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Tom Watts testified during the detention hearing. He confirmed that Defendant had been removed or deported from the United States on six prior occasions, and had been apprehended on another occasion attempting to cross the U.S. Border illegally from Mexico. He also testified that, if the Court released Defendant, the Immigrations Customs Enforcement agency ("ICE") would take him into custody on an immigration detainer and remove him within weeks. Watts stated, in response to a question from Judge Dale, that he believed Defendant was a risk of flight and nonappearance because of his immigration history.

Judge Dale found that Alarcon was a risk of non-appearance because of the ICE hold and his likely removal from the United States if released. She did not find that he was a flight risk based on his multiple prior removals, illegal entry ...

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