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United States v. Davis

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 18, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CARLOS DAVIS, D-13, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR BOND PENDING TRIAL [#213]

          GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On November 1, 2017, Defendant Carlos Davis was charged in an Indictment with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), alleging that Defendant and his co-conspirators are members in a street gang engaged in criminal activities, including narcotics trafficking, robbery, and extortion. Defendant was also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3);2, use and carry of a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii); 2, and willful engagement in a firearms business without a license, 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1)(A).

         A Second Superseding Indictment was issued on February 14, 2018, charging Defendant with an additional count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and an additional count of use and carry of a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence for his role in shooting at rival gang members.

         Following Defendant's arrest, he was detained by the magistrate judge, who conducted a hearing, took proffers and heard argument from counsel. The magistrate judge concluded that Defendant had not rebutted the presumption in favor of detention. In addition to his findings on the record, the magistrate judge's reasons included (1) the weight of the evidence, (2) his prior criminal history, and (3) his history of violence and use of weapons. The magistrate judge further noted that Defendant has “numerous Facebook postings of [himself] with a variety of weapons, including military-style weapons with extended clips; two previous convictions for firearms offenses prior to these postings; [and] co-Defendant Sanders['s] recorded statement that Davis was involved in an armed robbery with Defendant [Hakeem] Bunnell.”

         Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Bond, filed on April 18, 2018. The Government filed a Response on May 1, 2018. A hearing was held on May 18, 2018. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny the Defendant's Motion for Bond.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The instant action stems from a multi-year investigation of the Smokecamp street gang, which historically has been referred to as the “Runyon Boys, ” “Original Paid Bosses, ” and “Paid Bosses, Inc.” (hereinafter “Smokecamp/OPB”). Smokecamp/OPB has been operating since at least 2007 and its main source of revenue is the sale of narcotics, including cocaine, cocaine base, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, and various prescription medications.

         Smokecamp/OPB has taken control of the neighborhood near Seven Mile and Albion Roads on the east side of Detroit, which members refer to as “ABlock.” Smokecamp/OPB members sell narcotics from “trap” houses, the Plaga Apartment complex and businesses such as the East Seven Mile Liquor Store, Fresh Fish Market, MetroPCS and the Sunoco gas station, which are all located in the ABlock neighborhood. Smokecamp/OPB members have also traveled to West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky to sell controlled substances.

         Smokecamp/OPB members utilize a variety of unifying marks and identifying signs such as red clothing, tattoos of five-pointed stars and the number 724. They also regularly use social media websites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to highlight their affiliation with the gang, as well as to boast about their criminal activities.

         Smokecamp/OPB members protect their ABlock “territory” by using intimidation and violence, including assaults and robberies, both with dangerous weapons, thereby perpetuating a climate of fear in the ABlock neighborhood. They are also alleged to have committed extortion, money laundering and witness intimidation in furtherance of their conspiracy.

         Defendant is twenty-four years old. He is a graduate of Osborn High School and has a history of employment. He has strong ties to the community-he has four children, a significant other and a sister, with whom he resides. He is a convicted felon and has previous convictions for firearm related offenses

         Similar to his co-conspirators, Defendant has a propensity to boast about his criminal activities via his social media accounts. For instance, on May 19, 2017, Defendant posted a photograph of himself holding an AK-style rifle and a pistol, with the caption, “Come get killed.” On January 31, 2017, Davis posted a photograph of himself holding two handguns, with the caption, “#FREEDEMREAL SMOKECAMPHITTAS WHOLE HOOD KNOW WE APPLY PRESSURE.” On October 31, 2016, Defendant posted a photograph of himself while in possession of an AK-style rifle and pistol, with the caption, “Ain't no robbing.” On April 4, 2016, Defendant posted a photograph of three pills that are suspected to be ecstasy. On November 14, 2015, Defendant posted a photograph depicting him in possession of two pistols, an AR-style rifle, captioned: “It ain't shit to snatch a niggalife . . . .”

         III. LAW ...


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