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United States v. Scruggs

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 28, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ZACHARY SCRUGGS, Defendant.

          ENTRY ON MOTION FOR REVOCATION OF RELEASE ORDER

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court

         Before the Court is the Government's motion for revocation of release order (Dkt. No. 44) and the Defendant's response thereto. The Court, being duly advised, GRANTS the motion for the reasons set forth below.

         I. STANDARD

         18 U.S.C. § 3145(a)(1) provides for district court review of a magistrate judge's release order. Section 3145(a) states in relevant part:

If a person is ordered released by a magistrate judge, or by a person other than a judge of a court having original jurisdiction over the offense and other than a Federal appellate court, the attorney for the Government may file, with the court having original jurisdiction over the offense, a motion for revocation of the order or amendment of the conditions of release[.] The motion shall be determined promptly.

         The district court must conduct a de novo review and need not defer to the magistrate judge's findings. The Court may review the transcript of the proceedings before the magistrate judge or it may hold a new hearing. United States v. Torres, 929 F.2d 291, 292 (7th Cir. 1991). In this case, the Court has reviewed the audio recording of the hearing and the parties' filings and has determined that a new hearing is not necessary.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. The Charged Offenses

         On June 12, 2018, Zachary Scruggs and a co-defendant were charged in a six-count superseding indictment. Scruggs was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances (Count 1); Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Counts 2 and 6); Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances (Count 3); and Distribution of Methamphetamine (Count 5).

         B. The Hearing

         Scruggs was initially brought before the Court on a writ. When the issue of detention became ripe, a hearing was held on June 14, 2018, by Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore. The United States moved for Scruggs' detention pending trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Magistrate Judge ordered Scruggs released pending trial of this matter. The release order has been stayed pending this Court's review.

         Both parties agreed that the charge against Scruggs creates a presumption of detention. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A).

         The Defendant made the following proffer at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge. Scruggs is a lifelong resident of Kokomo, Indiana. If Scruggs were to be released, he would live with his father in Kempton, Indiana. He and his father are both employed at Boss Home Improvements, and Scruggs would be able to continue his employment and ride to and from work with his father. Scruggs left school after the tenth grade and has not obtained his GED, although he has begun to work toward it while incarcerated since his arrest. Scruggs was previously convicted of possession of marijuana, which is a D felony that likely would have been eligible for alternate misdemeanor sentencing diversion program if Scruggs had sought it. Scruggs has no passport.

         The Government proffered the following information at the hearing and by reference to the Complaint that was filed in this case. See Dkt. No. 2. On January 6, 2018, a hotel room in Kokomo, Indiana, was searched pursuant to a search warrant. Scruggs had checked into the room two days earlier and had not yet checked out of it at the time of the search. Over 300 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale and unused clear baggies, and an Intratec pistol, Model TEC-22, and a magazine containing 25 rounds of ammunition were found in the room. On January 10, 2018, and January 19, 2018, controlled buys were conducted during which Scruggs and/or his alleged co-conspirator sold approximately 39.9 grams of methamphetamine and 112 grams of methamphetamine respectively. The methamphetamine was of a high level of purity. On or about January 23, 2018, the residence in which Scruggs lived with his ...


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