United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DIJFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Kingston Ansah's
(“Defendant”) Motion to Revoke Magistrate's
Order Detaining Defendant , which the Court considers as
Defendant's appeal of Magistrate Judge Janet F.
King's November 29, 2017, Order of Detention Pending
November 7, 2017, Defendant was charged with one count of
conspiring to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1349, ten counts of wire fraud, in violation on 18
U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1349 and 2, ten counts of access
device fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(2) and
2, ten counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1) and (2), and five counts of
money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 9957
and 2. (Indictment ). The charges arise from an alleged
scheme to use credit cards obtained by using the means of
identification of third party victims, to make fraudulent
purchases and submit claims for fraudulent charges on the
credit cards obtained using identification of third party
victims. Many of the fraudulent charges were for services
purportedly rendered by two of Defendant's companies.
( at 5). After these charges were returned, investigative
activity made Defendant aware he was under investigation and
he retained counsel who discussed with the Government the
possible resolution of Defendant's alleged conduct. When
these discussions were unsuccessful, Defendant was indicted.
Defendant's counsel was notified of the indictment and
Defendant was given an opportunity to self-surrender.
Defendant's counsel advised the Government that Defendant
became ill around the time of the original surrender date,
and the Government extended the surrender date to November
before November 20, 2017, the Government learned that
Defendant bought an airline ticket for travel to the
Netherlands with a departure date of November 19, 2017, the
day before he was to self-surrender. Before Defendant could
leave the country, he was arrested. The arrest was made while
Defendant was sitting at the gate for his flight to the
Netherlands. The Government later learned that Defendant had
a ticket on a flight from the Netherlands to his home country
had checked three large pieces of luggage for his trip out of
the United States. These bags were later searched. In them,
agents found an international driver's license in the
name of Peter Weems with a home address used on other
fraudulent licenses. The Weems driver's license had the
same address used on four fraudulent driver's licenses
found during a previous search of Defendant's
business. A letter seized from the luggage had
another person's name with Defendant's home address.
The luggage also contained 20 pieces of dry cleaned clothing
and eight pairs of shoes.
denied he was fleeing the United States, but instead asserted
he was going to Ghana to attend his mother's funeral. He
claimed he was able to check three free bags on his
international flight and that he packed them with things he
was taking to others in Ghana. Defendant's brother
provided a declaration that their mother had died and, as the
eldest son, Defendant was needed to attend to her burial. A
letter certification of his mother's death also was
admitted. Defendant did not state why he did not tell the
Government he would not self-surrender on November 20, 2017.
Magistrate Judge granted the Government's Motion to
Detain Defendant on the grounds that he is a flight risk and
safety risk. Defendant objects to, and effectively appeals,
the Magistrate Judge's Order of Detention, and moves for
a de novo hearing.
18 U.S.C. § 3145(b), a person ordered detained by a
magistrate judge may seek prompt review of the detention
order in district court. The district court's review is
de novo. See United States v. Jeffries, 679
F.Supp. 1114, 1115 (M.D. Ga. 1988) (citing United States
v. Gaviria, 828 F.2d 667, 670 (11th Cir. 1987)). In
conducting the review, the district court may rely entirely
on the pleadings and the evidence developed at the magistrate
judge's detention hearing, or it may conclude that
additional evidence is necessary and conduct its own
evidentiary hearing. United States v. King, 849 F.2d
485, 490 (11th Cir. 1988).
Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3142, governs the release
and detention of defendants awaiting trial. The government
bears the burden of establishing that the defendant should be
detained, either by a preponderance of the evidence that the
defendant poses a high risk of flight, or by clear and
convincing evidence that the defendant constitutes a danger
to certain individuals and to the community. United
States v. Quartermaine, 913 F.2d 910, 917 (11th Cir.
1990). Section 3142(g) provides the following factors that a
court shall consider in determining whether a person poses a
flight risk or a danger to the community:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged,
including whether the offense is a crime of violence . . .