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United States v. Pond

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

November 20, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARLENA JO POND, a/k/a MAR POND, Defendant.

ORDER OF DETENTION

VERONICA L. DUFFY, Magistrate Judge.

Marlena Jo Pond appeared before the court on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, and entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. This court recommended that Ms. Pond's plea be accepted and that she be adjudged guilty.

After entering the plea, Ms. Pond sought release on bond until the time of her sentencing, citing her performance on pretrial release prior to November 20, her continuing aftercare treatment for substance abuse, and the need to provide care for her children. The government moved for detention of Ms. Pond pending sentencing.

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(2), a person who has been found guilty of an offense in a case described in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1)(C) and is awaiting the imposition or execution of a sentence shall be detained unless:

(A) (i) The judicial officer finds there is a substantial likelihood that a motion for acquittal or new trial will be granted; or
(ii) an attorney for the Government has recommended that no sentence of imprisonment be imposed on the person; and
(B) the judicial officer finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is not likely to flee or pose a danger to any other person or the community.

Ms. Pond has been found guilty of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, 841(a), and 841(b)(1)(C). This offense falls under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(1)(C), as the Controlled Substances Act prescribes a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more for this offense.

Ms. Pond did not proceed to trial, so 18 U.S.C. 3143(a)(2)(A)(i) does not apply. The government has not recommended that no sentence of imprisonment be imposed, so 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(2)(A)(ii) does not apply. Even if Ms. Pond can present evidence that she is not likely to flee or pose a danger to any other person or the community, she must still be detained pending sentencing, absent exceptional circumstances. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3143(a)(2), 3145(c). Ms. Pond's proffered reasons do not constitute exceptional circumstances justifying Ms. Pond's release post-plea. See United States v. Scott Krantz, No. 13-2792, 2013 WL 5302631(8th Cir. Sept. 23, 2013); United States v. Nickell, 2013 WL 1787972 (8th Cir. Apr. 26, 2013); United States v. Larue, 478 F.3d 924, 925 (8th Cir. 2007); United States v. Brown, 368 F.3d 992, 993 (8th Cir. 2004); United States v. Mostrom, 11 F.3d 93, 95 (8th Cir. 1993). Accordingly, the court has determined that Ms. Pond should be detained.

In coming to this conclusion, the court has considered:

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
(2) the weight of the evidence against the defendant;
(3) the defendant's history and personal characteristics, including the defendant's character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in this community, community ties, past conduct, criminal history, as well as court appearance record;
(4) the nature and seriousness of the danger posed to other persons in the community if defendant ...

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