United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
criminal case is before the Court on Defendant Hector
Valdez-Leora's Motion for Revocation of Order of
Detention Pending Trial . For the reasons that follow,
the motion is denied.
Valdez-Leora (“Defendant”) was indicted by a
federal Grand Jury on April 3, 2019, on two counts of
violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and
1324(a)(1)(B)(i). Count 1 charges Defendant with concealing,
harboring, and shielding from detection O.R.-S., an alien
unlawfully present in the United States. Count 2 charges
Defendant with concealing, harboring, and shielding from
detection Juan Pablo Valdez-Morales, an alien unlawfully
present in the United States.
April 11, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson
held a detention hearing under 18 U.S.C. § 3142 and
granted the Government's motion to detain Defendant
pending trial. Judge Anderson found by a preponderance of the
evidence that no condition or combination of conditions of
release would reasonably assure Defendant's appearance.
Defendant now seeks a new hearing or, alternatively, de novo
review and an order revoking the order of detention.
the district court, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b),
acts on a motion to revoke or amend a magistrate's
pretrial detention order, the court acts de novo and makes an
independent determination of the proper pretrial detention or
conditions for release.” United States v.
Fortna, 769 F.2d 243, 249 (5th Cir. 1985). Here,
Defendant also seeks a new evidentiary hearing. The Bail
Reform Act provides in relevant part:
The hearing may be reopened, before or after a determination
by the judicial officer, at any time before trial if the
judicial officer finds that information exists that was not
known to the movant at the time of the hearing and that has a
material bearing on the issue whether there are conditions of
release that will reasonably assure the appearance of such
person as required . . . .
18 U.S.C. § 3142(f)(2)(B). Defendant offers no new
evidence. Instead, he cites various reports that were
available before the detention hearing, an affidavit from one
of his clients, and letters from his friends. While the Court
will not conduct a new hearing, it will consider his new
exhibits. See United States v. Hare, 873 F.2d 796,
799 (5th Cir. 1989) (affirming denial of new hearing because
“testimony of [defendant's] family and friends is
not new evidence”).
Bail Reform Act governs pretrial detention. It states in
relevant part as follows:
If, after a hearing pursuant to the provisions of subsection
(f) of this section, the judicial officer finds that no
condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure
the appearance of the person as required and the safety of
any other person and the community, such judicial officer
shall order the detention of the person before trial.
18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). No. one suggests that Defendant
presents a risk to the public, so the question is whether he
poses a flight risk. Defendant says he does not for two
primary reasons. First, he has strong ties to the community
in which his immediate family resides and where he owns and
operates a business. Second, in 2017, authorities indirectly
warned him about potential criminal liability if he hired
illegal aliens, yet Defendant never attempted to flee.
assuming these statements are true, they are outweighed by
other concerns. The Bail Reform Act provides four general
factors-with subparts-that courts must consider. 18 U.S.C.A.
§ 3142(g). Based on a de novo review of those factors,
the Court reaches the same conclusion as the magistrate
judge. First, the nature and circumstances of the offense
weigh in favor of detention. While not a crime of violence,
the case does involve attempts to evade lawful detection and
illegal border crossings. Moreover, Defendant used fraudulent
social-security numbers in his business, covertly posted bond
for another individual, and assisted the aliens unlawfully
present in renting a home on the strength of his credit
history. Second, Defendant has not suggested that the weight
of the evidence against him is weak. And third, his history
and characteristics present a risk. Although Defendant has
family here, his parents reside in Mexico, he visits Mexico
regularly, he has the financial means to flee, he has ties to
individuals who cross the border illegally, and he told
authorities at one point that he knew it was illegal to hire
undocumented workers and that given the current climate he
might as ...