United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
REVOCATION OF DETENTION ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Carter (“Carter”) is one of three defendants
indicted on charges stemming from the March 27, 2019 robbery
of a T-Mobile store in Brockton that escalated into to a
police chase during which the perpetrators fired their
weapons at police officers from their getaway car. The
indictment charges Carter with conspiring to interfere with
commerce by threat or violence in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1951(a); interfering with commerce by threat or
violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a);
discharging, brandishing, using, and carrying a firearm
during a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §
924(c)(1)(A); and being a felon in possession of a firearm
and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
Carter's arraignment on April 5, 2019, the government
moved for detention. The Court held a detention hearing on
April 22, 2019. On May 3, 2019, Magistrate Judge Hennessey
granted the government's motion to detain, finding that
Carter was a flight risk and that his “release would
pose a serious danger to the community” based on his
significant criminal history and the nature of the charged
offense. [ECF No. 32 at 6, 9].
September 11, 2019, a grand jury returned a superceding
indictment against Carter which added an additional
felon-in-possession count. [ECF No. 55]. On September 19,
2019, Carter moved to revoke the detention order. [ECF No.
61]. On October 1, 2019, the government opposed. [ECF No.
81]. For the reasons explained herein, Carter's motion to
revoke the detention order [ECF No. 61] is DENIED.
January 26, 2019, three men armed with handguns robbed a
T-Mobile store in Brockton. [ECF No. 86-1]. Two of the men
entered the store, pointed their firearms at the store clerk,
and directed him to the back of the store where the inventory
was kept. [Id.]. As the clerk entered the security
code to access the back room that contained the store's
inventory, one of the armed men struck the clerk in the head
with his firearm. [ECF No. 86-1; Apr. 22, 2019 Hr'g Tr.
at 13]. The third man later entered the store and proceeded
to the inventory room. [ECF No. 86-1]. The men then stole
approximately $20, 000 worth of cell phones and tablets and
$4, 500 in currency. [Apr. 22, 2019 Hr'g Tr. at 10].
Carter remained outside of the store in the getaway car, a
white Chevy Malibu, which was rented in his name.
[Id. at 15, 19, 39, 62-63].
to the perpetrators, one of the stolen electronic devices was
a GPS tracking device that provided real-time tracking
information to T-Mobile's security company. [Id.
at 16- 19]. The tracking information was reported to the
Brockton Police Department, who intercepted the getaway car
in a residential neighborhood and attempted to stop the car
and apprehend the perpetrators. [Id.]. According to
the lead officer in pursuit, the perpetrators began shooting
at the police cruisers. [Id. at 21-28]. The City of
Brockton's ShotSpotter system, which monitors and records
sound frequencies of gunfire, reported a total of nine
gunshots fired at the time of the incident, close to where
the officers were pursuing the perpetrators. [ECF No. 86-3 at
perpetrators abandoned the getaway car in the residential
neighborhood and ditched their weapons throughout the
neighborhood as they ran away. [Apr. 22, 2019 Hr'g Tr. at
23-27]. The three men who had entered the T-Mobile store were
apprehended that night. [Id. at 29-35]. Officers
subsequently searched the car and found mail addressed to
Carter and a Hertz rental agreement that identified him as
the authorized operator of the vehicle. [Id. at
36-39]. Officers also found Carter's fingerprint on the
car's rear passenger door. [Id. at 56]. A
warrant was issued for Carter's arrest.
following up on the phone number associated with the Hertz
rental car, officers were able to find Carter's email
address and obtain his Google search history. [Id.
at 40-42, 56-62]. On the morning of the arrest, a Google
account associated with Carter's email address was used
to search for the location of local T-Mobile stores.
[Id. at 56-62]. The account was also used to search
for news reports of the robbery in the hours after the other
suspects were apprehended. [Id.]. One of the
apprehended perpetrators, who subsequently identified Carter,
has told the government that Carter orchestrated the robbery,
drove the getaway car, and provided one of the firearms.
[Id. at 9-15, 62-65, 78-80]. Finally, cell site
location information associated with Carter's phone
number suggests that he was within a few hundred meters of
the T-Mobile store at the time of the robbery. [Id.
at 47-50; ECF No. 86-16].
Court reviews the Magistrate Judge's pretrial detention
order de novo. United States v. Marquez,
113 F.Supp.2d 125, 127 (D. Mass. 2000) (citing United
States v. Tortora, 922 F.2d 880, 882 n.4 (1st Cir.
1990)). To support pretrial detention, the government must
demonstrate (1) by a preponderance of the evidence that the
defendant poses a flight risk, or (2) by clear and convincing
evidence that the defendant is a danger to the community.
See United States v. Patriarca, 948 F.2d 789, 792-93
(1st Cir. 1991). As a general rule, the Court must determine
whether any condition or combination of conditions will
assure the defendant's appearance and the safety of
people in the community. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). Where a
grand jury has found probable cause to believe that a
defendant committed an offense under § 924(c), however,
“it shall be presumed that no condition or combination
of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the
person as required and safety of the community . . . .”
18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(B). That presumption shifts the
burden to the defendant, who must introduce “some
evidence” to the contrary. United States v.
O'Brien, 895 F.2d 810, 815 (1st Cir. 1990) (quoting
United States v. Jessup, 757 F.2d 378, 381 (1st Cir.
1985)). Even if a defendant provides evidence to rebut this
presumption, the presumption “continues to operate as
one factor to be considered by the court in determining
whether the defendant must be detained, with the government
continuing to bear the burden of proving that no condition or
combination of conditions short of detention would assure the
defendant's appearance and protect the community.
determining whether pre-trial detention is appropriate, the
Court must consider the factors articulated in 18 U.S.C.
§ 3142(g): the nature of the offense, including whether
the offense is a crime of violence or involved the use of a
firearm; the weight of the evidence against the defendant;
the defendant's criminal history; and the risk of danger
to the community if the defendant was to be released. 18
U.S.C. § 3142(g)(1-4).
argues that the Court could ensure his appearance and the
community's safety through a combination of his staying
with his grandmother and the Court imposing GPS monitoring
and a curfew, or house arrest. [ECF No. 62 at 6-7]. The Court
disagrees and finds that detention is necessary to reasonably
assure Carter's appearance and the safety of the
the nature of the offense and the weight of the evidence
against Carter supports pretrial detention. A grand jury has
found probable cause to believe that Carter participated in a
robbery, which included the use of firearms, threatening a
store clerk, and shooting at police during a subsequent
chase. This determination of probable cause is bolstered by
the testimony of a cooperating co-defendant who claims that
Carter orchestrated the robbery and provided one of the
firearms. His testimony is corroborated by other evidence,
including GPS tracking location information, cell-site
location information, and Carter's internet search
history. Although Carter is not personally accused of
threatening or assaulting the T-Mobile store clerk, there is
evidence that he provided one of the firearms and even more
compelling evidence that he led the police on a motor vehicle