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United States v. Hidalgo

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division

February 11, 2015

UNITED STATES,
v.
JUAN SANCHEZ HIDALGO, Defendant.

ORDER

HUGH LAWSON, Senior District Judge.

This case is before the Court on the Government's Motion for Revocation of Release Order. (Doc. 215). Upon conducting a de novo review, the Court adopts the findings of fact and conclusions of law of United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff and orders Defendant released subject to the conditions set forth in the Order Setting Conditions of Release. (Doc. 212).

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant Juan Sanchez Hidalgo was indicted on December 9, 2014, in a seventeen-count indictment charging a cocaine and cocaine base conspiracy involving firearms in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841, and 856, and Title 18 United States Code, Sections 924(c) and 2. (Doc. 1). Defendant is named only in Count One of the indictment, which alleges that Defendant participated in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base.

Defendant appeared before Judge Langstaff on January 13, 2015, for a detention hearing. Following two days of testimony, Judge Langstaff determined that Defendant effectively rebutted the presumption in favor of detention. Judge Langstaff stated that "the Court does not have the danger concern with [this Defendant]. Instead the question is really the flight risk." (Doc. 253, p. 110). In making his final decision, Judge Langstaff considered the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g). He noted that Defendant, a Lawful Permanent Resident but not a United States citizen, has only resided in Georgia for two years. (Doc. 253, p. 110). He has ongoing relationships in El Paso, Texas, which the court took judicial notice as being in close proximity to the United States/Mexico border. (Id.). Judge Langstaff further took into account the immigration detainer issued by the Department of Homeland Security, which, if convicted, could lead to Defendant's deportation and thus provides a reason to flee. (Id.).

However, in reviewing the evidence, Judge Langstaff found that there is no direct evidence linking Defendant to transporting narcotics. (Doc. 253, p. 111). Judge Langstaff opined that the only evidence before the court of Defendant's role in the conspiracy is as a courier, though "[i]t's hard to imagine that Mr. Hidalgo was not aware of what he was transporting." (Id.).

Ultimately, Judge Langstaff determined that the court could set conditions that would reasonably assure Defendant's appearance at future court proceedings. Judge Langstaff then ordered a $15, 000 bond secured by ten percent. (Doc. 253, p. 112). In addition to the bond, Judge Langstaff entered an order setting the following conditions of release:

• Defendant must not violate any federal, state, or local law while on release.
• Defendant must cooperate with the collection of DNA if authorized by federal law.
• Defendant must advise his supervising officer in writing of any change in address or telephone number.
• Defendant must appear in court as required.
• If convicted, Defendant must surrender as directed to serve any sentence imposed.
• Defendant shall submit to supervision by the United States ...

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