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United States v. Garcha

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

December 27, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SANDEEP GARCHA, Defendant.

          REVOCATION OF RELEASE; DETENTION ORDER

          VIRGINIA K. DEMARCHI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         At his initial appearance, the United States moved for detention of defendant Sandeep Garcha. The Court held hearings on the government's motion on December 3 and 5, 2019, after which the Court ordered Mr. Garcha released on a $100, 000 bond, secured by real property, and several special conditions, including strict location conditions. Dkt. No. 14. Mr. Garcha was present at the hearings and represented by counsel. Id.

         On December 26, 2019, Pretrial Services reported to the Court that Mr. Garcha had twice violated the conditions of his release relating to restrictions on his location. Dkt. No. 15. The government moved for revocation of release. The Court held a hearing on the alleged violations on December 27, 2019. Mr. Garcha was present and represented by counsel.

         For the reasons stated on the record during the December 27, 2019 hearing and as set forth below, the Court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence Mr. Garcha violated his conditions of release and that detention is warranted. This order may be appealed to the presiding judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         As set forth in the indictment, the government charges Mr. Garcha with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Mr. Garcha is presumed innocent of these charges. See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(j).

         Pretrial Services prepared a pre-bail report on December 2, 2019, which was shared with the Court and counsel for the parties. Pretrial Services prepared a violation memorandum on December 26, 2019, which also was shared with the Court and counsel for the parties. The Court adopts the facts set forth in the Pretrial Services report and memorandum, as indicated below. Both parties presented arguments and evidence by proffer through counsel at the hearings, which were conducted in public.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         On a motion for revocation of release for violating a condition of pretrial release the government must show by clear and convincing evidence that a violation occurred. 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(B). The government also must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release, or that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure that the defendant will not flee or pose a danger to the safety of other persons or the community. Id. § 3148(b)(2); United States v. Gotti, 794 F.2d 773, 778 (2d Cir. 1986); United States v. Aron, 904 F.2d 221, 224 (5th Cir. 1990).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Nature and Circumstances of the Offense

         According to the complaint, in August 2019 law enforcement authorities in San Jose discovered a loaded firearm concealed in a sofa in an apartment that Mr. Garcha frequented, together with information indicating that the firearm belonged to Mr. Garcha. During the hearing, the government proffered additional evidence, including statements made by Mr. Garcha upon his arrest in October 2019, that support the government's contention that the firearm in question belonged to Mr. Garcha. According to the indictment and the criminal history presented at the hearing, Mr. Garcha was convicted in 2005 of two counts of carjacking, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of second degree robbery, all felonies, in violation of California state law, and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. He was on probation for that offense when he was arrested in this case. Mr. Garcha faces a maximum prison term of 10 years for the offense with which he is currently charged.

         B. Weight of the Evidence

         The weight of the evidence is difficult to assess at this stage of the case. The government proffers that Mr. Garcha made admissions to law enforcement regarding the charged conduct. However, the Court observes that the weight of the evidence is the least important ...


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