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United States v. Adams

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 2, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAQUREAY ADAMS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Defendant Jaqureay Adams is charged with Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 (b)(1)(D) and 18 U.S.C. § 2; and Possession of a Semiautomatic Assault Weapon in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) & (B)(I) and 2 in a second superseding indictment filed in this district. See Dkt. No. 151.

         On his arrest on the first superseding indictment, Adams had his initial appearance on December 27, 2017. See Dkt. No. 133. After a detention hearing on December 28, 2017, the Court denied the government's motion for detention and ordered Adams released subject to - and only once compliance was confirmed with - certain conditions. See Dkt. Nos. 139 & 140. The Court explained at the conclusion of the hearing that

[w]e're here, back here today for a hearing on the Government's motion for detention as to Jaqureay Adams, charged by superseding indictment in this case with violating two different drug offenses, a violation of 21 United States Code Section 846 and 841(b)(1)(D), as well as a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 United States Code Section 924(c).
The Government has moved for detention and has invoked, as is its right, the so-called rebuttable presumption that provides that, whereas here, a grand jury has indicted the defendant and thereby found probable cause to believe that Mr. Adams has committed a drug offense that carries with it at least a 10-year maximum sentence, that the Court is to presume there is no combination of conditions that the Court could set to reasonably assure Mr. Adams' appearance as required or the safety of the community if he was to be released.
This requires Mr. Adams to come forward with some evidence to rebut that presumption - that is, that suggests that there in fact are conditions that could be set to reasonably assure his appearance and the safety of the community - and then the burden remains with the Government to ultimately prove its motion if he comes forward with some evidence.
I've considered the testimony of Officer Schroeder, one of the case agents, the report of Pretrial Services, Government's Exhibits 1 through 7 that have been admitted, which includes Government's Exhibit 6 that is ten video clips that were shown here in court today. I've considered all this in light of the factors that are set out by the Bail Reform Act for consideration here that include the nature and circumstances of the charged offense, the apparent weight of the evidence against Mr. Adams, and his history and characteristics.
Here, the evidence clearly shows by video Mr. Adams handling large amounts of drugs and cash with a gun in his waistband in the apartment where his codefendants are engaged in drug trafficking that evidence shows consistently involves several firearms and the brandishing of a firearm each time a customer comes in, as well as showing Mr. Adams' own Facebook page and posts supporting those same codefendants after some of the arrests some months ago.
The evidence showed that Mr. Adams had access to an area of the apartment where this conspiracy, this drug trafficking conspiracy was taking place, where suppliers, not customers of the drugs, were present. And the evidence also shows that law enforcement has included Mr. Adams as a confirmed gang member, along with his codefendants, and that he was known to Irving Police Department for several years and is now facing a long - a substantial prison sentence if he is convicted of the charges.
I do find Mr. Adams has come forward, though, with some evidence to rebut the presumption as to each of these matters. The evidence shows he has a concealed handgun license [(“CHL”)] as well as a commercial driver's license to allow him to drive trucks. He is gainfully employed as a truck driver, including for FEMA in hurricane relief for the last three months. In fact, the evidence shows he was actually arrested going to the Department of Public Safety or what we - somebody said we all think of as the DMV in connection with his CDL, and has a history of gainful employment outside of drug trafficking.
He has no criminal history, no passport or history of international travel. His mother came forward and testified today. I should say, I considered her testimony, too, Sharhonda Adams' testimony. She's willing to be a third-party custodian and have Mr. Adams live with her. I do find that this is evidence to rebut the presumption both as to risk of flight and danger.
The question then is, it seems to me, whether, at this point, then, under the proper analysis here, whether the evidence of Mr. Adams' involvement with the codefendants in drug trafficking that included firearms and facing a long sentence, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, means, under these circumstances, that there's no combination of conditions that the Court could set to reasonably assure the safety of the community and his appearance as required if he were to be released.
Under all the circumstances here, I believe there is such a combination of conditions, despite the gravity of the drug and firearm offenses that are involved in this conspiracy and the amount of prison time that Mr. Adams faces. I don't mean to give undue credit to this, but I should have mentioned a moment ago, I should say, evidence of his involvement with his now-detained codefendants in this drug trafficking activity. Under all the circumstances here and given the conditions and the resources that are available, I do believe there are conditions that could be set to reasonably assure the safety of the community and Mr. Adams' appearance if he is released, and I will therefore deny the Government's motion for detention and order that Mr. Adams be released subject to certain conditions, which I will go over now.

Dkt. No. 210 at 86-89.

         Among those conditions required by the Court's Order Setting Conditions is that Adams's mother serve as his third-party custodian; that Adams “not possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon”; and that Adams “surrender all firearms by 9 am on December 29, 2017 to pretrial services as well as the concealed handgun license” that the evidence at the detention hearing led the Court to believe that Adams had been issued. Dkt. No. 140 at 2. The Court imposed the latter condition - and conditioned Adams's release on its first being met - after a discussion on the record with counsel:

THE COURT [TO MR. ADAMS]: I am going to order that you not possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon. I guess I'm happy to hear from Ms. Jones on this. I'm not going to order that you turn over your commercial handgun license, but simply that you don't actually possess it, that you surrender the weapons, any weapons that you currently have, and you not obtain any or possess any at any time. Whether - what that does with your commercial handgun license or the concealed handgun license under state law is, as far as I'm concerned, for somebody else to deal with.
THE COURT: Ms. Jones, are there any other conditions the Government would ask that I consider?
MS. JONES: Yes, Judge. The Government does request that that weapon that he has discussed be turned in by tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. to Pretrial Services. And then also I understand the Court's position on the CHL. It's a state matter. But that does come with an actual license. The Government would ask that that be turned in as well to Pretrial Services no later than 9:00 a.m. And -
THE COURT: Okay. I mean, I see what you're saying.
MS. JONES: Right.
THE COURT: I mean, surrender the -
MS. JONES: Actual - yeah.
THE COURT: Yeah.
MS. JONES: I understand the Court doesn't have jurisdiction to revoke that license, but we would ask that the hard copy of that license be turned in.
THE COURT: Further, I will add the condition that Mr. Adams will surrender all firearms by 9:00 a.m. on December 29, 2017 to Pretrial Services, as well as the concealed handgun license.
MR. CARRIZALES: Not that it be revoked? Simply -
THE COURT: Yeah. No. Just to be clear, -
MR. CARRIZALES: - the physical license?
THE COURT: Just to be clear, the actual physical.
MR. CARRIZALES: Yes.
MS. JONES: Pretrial Services has just brought up an issue to me. They would ask that, given the firearm and the CHL, that he remain in custody tonight until those things are brought tomorrow morning and that be verified by them, and that the monitor be in place and everything set up in accordance with the Court's conditions. In ...

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