United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Bluefield
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Faber, Senior United States District Judge
the court is defendant Windel Lester's Motion to Revoke
Detention Order. ECF No. 63. The court reviewed the motion,
the government's response in opposition, (ECF No. 65),
and held a hearing on the matter on January 9, 2018. For the
reasons stated in the motion and at the hearing, the motion
November 15, 2017, the defendant, Windel Lester, along with
others, was named in all counts of a 28-count indictment
which charged wire fraud, conspiracy to use and the use of
fire in the commission of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to
commit money laundering, and unlawful monetary transactions.
ECF No. 1.
the indictment's return, the government filed a motion to
detain Mr. Lester pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4142(f)(1).
Following a hearing conducted on November 21, 2017,
Magistrate Judge Omar J. Aboulhosn concluded that pursuant to
the factors outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g), Windel
Lester must be detained pending trial to (1) reasonably
assure the safety of other persons and the community and (2)
reasonably assure defendant's appearance as required.
See ECF No. 33.
December 14, 2017, defendant filed a Motion to Revoke
Detention Order, seeking a de novo review of the magistrate
judge's detention order.
Hearing on the Motion
January 9, 2018, the court held a hearing on this matter. On
behalf of the government, Sergeant Lesley Boytek of the West
Virginia State Police testified about telephone calls and
other intercepted communications regarding defendant's
threats toward a confidential informant. Moreover, the
government introduced emails between the defendant and
another defendant, Gregory Lester indicating his awareness of
and failure to appreciate Gregory Lester's conditions of
bond. During cross-examination, however, Sgt. Boytek admitted
that knowledge of these threats did not result in any
affirmative actions to protect the informant or even
communication with the informant about the risk to his
defense called Douglas Vinson and Bobby J. Justus assessing
that defendant had a reputation for peacefulness within the
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the district court acts on a motion to revoke or amend a
magistrate judge's pretrial [detention] order, the
district court acts de novo and must make an independent
determination of the proper pretrial detention or conditions
of release.” United States v. Stewart, 19
App'x 46, 48 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing United States v.
Rueben, 974 F.2d 580, 585-86 (5th Cir. 1992)).
the Bail Reform Act, a defendant shall be detained only if a
judicial officer finds that no condition or combination of
conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the
defendant as required or the safety of any other person and
the community. 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). The Court's
decision in a detention hearing is guided by the following 18
U.S.C. § 3142(g) factors: (1)“the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged;” (2)“the
weight of the evidence against the person;”
(3)“the history and characteristics of the
person” including, family ties, employment, financial
resources, past conduct, criminal history, and whether the
person was on release pending trial; and (4)“the nature
and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community
that would be posed by the person's release.” To
obtain a detention order, the Government must demonstrate
either (1) by clear and convincing evidence that “no
conditions other than detention will reasonably assure the
safety of any other person and the community, ”
United States v. ...