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United States v. Avant

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi

February 9, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
SIDNEY AVANT, JR.

          ORDER REVOKING BOND

          DEBRA M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This criminal action is before the Court on the petition to revoke Sidney Avant, Jr.'s bond. Doc. #706.

         I

         Procedural History

         On August 31, 2016, Sidney Avant, Jr., was indicted on charges for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact related to a drug trafficking conspiracy. Doc. #310. On September 7, 2016, United States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander issued an Order Setting Conditions of Release regarding Avant's pretrial release, which conditions included a $5, 000 secured bond and Avant's compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.[1] Doc. #334. The order also required that Avant “report as soon as possible, to the pretrial services office or supervising officer, every contact with law enforcement personnel, including arrests, questioning, or traffic stops.” Id. at 2. Avant obtained and signed a $5, 000 secured Appearance Bond that day.[2] Doc. #335.

         On July 21, 2017, Avant pleaded guilty to the charge of obstruction of justice. Doc. #589. Following acceptance of his plea, the Court permitted Avant to remain out of custody under the same bond pending his sentencing hearing.[3] Doc. #591.

         Approximately six months later, on January 23, 2018, a petition to revoke Avant's bond and to issue a warrant for Avant's arrest was filed. Doc. #706. The petition alleges that Avant was arrested on January 12, 2018, in Quitman County for “Felony Disposal of Lien Property” and that Avant failed to report such arrest. Id. at 1. The Court issued an arrest warrant the same day. Doc. #707.

         On February 9, 2018, the Court, pursuant to notice, convened a hearing on the petition for revocation. Doc. #722. At the hearing, Avant, through counsel, advised he was not contesting the violations but wished to present evidence to rebut the presumption that there is no condition that will ensure his appearance. In that regard, Avant called as his only witness Summer Rowland, his probation officer. See Doc. #723. After hearing arguments from the parties, the Court took the petition under advisement.

         II

         Factual Findings

         On an unknown date, Avant purchased a truck valued at $3, 000. To purchase the truck, Avant signed a promissory note in favor of the vendor. Pursuant to the schedule of payments in the note, the truck was to be paid off in May of 2017. However, Avant failed to make any payments on the note and the truck remained subject to the lien. At some point, Avant sold the truck to a junk yard for $700. No. money was paid to the holder of the promissory note.

         On January 12, 2018, the Quitman County Sheriff's Department arrested Avant for “Felony Disposal of Lien Property” based on his sale of the truck. On January 17, 2018, while Avant was still in custody, Rowland received a call from the Quitman County Investigations Division informing him of Avant's arrest. Also on January 17, Avant was released from Quitman County's custody on a $5, 000 bond. Rowland “gave the defendant [a] proper amount of time to report the contact” to him, before petitioning this Court on January 23 for Avant's arrest. Rowland then contacted Avant regarding the charges and Avant surrendered himself without incident.

         Rowland testified that other than the violations at issue in the petition, Avant has complied with all conditions of release for the approximately sixteen months that he has supervised him. However, Rowland believes that there are no conditions or combination of conditions of release ...


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