United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
RYA W. ZOBEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Binh Thanh Le (“Le”), Steven McCall
(“McCall”), and Allante Pires
(“Pires”) are charged with conspiracy to
manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to
distribute controlled substances 3,
4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Ketamine, and Alprazolam in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. After an evidentiary
hearing, Magistrate Judge Dein ordered the defendants
detained pending trial. McCall and Pires filed motions to
revoke their detention orders, which were granted. Docket ##
31, 50. Le now seeks review of his detention order, which
this court considers de novo. United States v.
Tortora, 922 F.2d 880, 883 n.4 (1st Cir.1990).
on the evidence supporting the statutory factors under the
Bail Reform Act, including (1) the nature and circumstances
of the offense charged; (2) the weight of the evidence
against the defendant; (3) the defendant's history and
characteristics; and (4) the danger that would be posed to
the community by the defendant's release,  18 U.S.C. §
3142(g), I agree with Magistrate Judge Dein’s
conclusion that “no conditions of release would
reasonably insure the safety of the community or Le’s
appearance.” Docket # 26.
Public Safety Concerns
case involves a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute
significant quantities of controlled substances. The
government alleges that the defendants, primarily operating
out of an office space in Stoughton, MA, sold drugs via the
Dark Web in exchange for Bitcoin, and shipped the drugs to
customers using the United States Postal Service.
strength of the evidence against Le and his apparent role as
the leader of this sophisticated conspiracy distinguish him
from McCall and Pires, who were released on conditions. Le
signed the lease for the office space where agents executed a
search warrant and found a pill press, large quantities of
drugs, shipping supplies, more than $100, 000 in cash, a
computer opened to the Dark Web vendor page, and items
bearing Le’s name. Le also rented several mailboxes,
where he received wholesale quantities of controlled
substances, and he was observed by law enforcement mailing
packages containing drugs. Additional pertinent evidence
includes: the interception of a kilogram of cocaine en route
to Le’s personal residence, where he resided with his
parents; Le’s statement to an undercover agent that he
had other individuals “working for him, ” Docket
# 40 at 37; text messages from Le’s phone in which he
delegated tasks within the conspiracy, Docket ## 40-5, 40-6;
and law enforcement’s recovery of ammunition and drug
residue in trash discarded by Le outside the office space.
light of the nature of the charge, the weight of the evidence
against Le, and Le’s central role in the alleged
conspiracy, the government has established by clear and
convincing evidence that no conditions of release can
reasonably assure the safety of the community.
Risk of Flight
government has also met its burden by a preponderance of the
evidence that no conditions will assure Le’s future
appearance as required. Le faces the possibility of significant
prison time. He was arrested while attempting to exchange
$200, 000 worth of Bitcoin for U.S. currency and may have
access to additional drug proceeds if released. The alleged
conspiracy also had an international dimension, involving
drug shipments from Switzerland and Canada, and Le has family
ties to Vietnam.
motion to revoke the detention order (Docket # 56) is DENIED.