United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
REVOCATION OF DETENTION ORDER 
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ron Benson stands indicted on counts of participating in a
racketeering conspiracy and being a felon in possession of a
firearm. The conspiracy charge arises from Benson's
alleged membership in the Playboy Gangster Crips-a gang the
Government accuses of murders, robberies, carjackings, and
drug and weapon trafficking. Benson has been detained since
October of last year pursuant to a magistrate's
determination that he posed so great a danger to the
community that no combination of release conditions could
reasonably assure the safety of others. He now moves to be
released on bond, but for the reasons below, the Court will
deny his motion.
district judge reviews a magistrate judge's detention
order de novo. United States v. Demarcus Bristuan
Fitzhugh, No. 16-mj-30364, 2016 WL 4727480, at *2 (E.D.
Mich. Sept. 12, 2016). "The Court may also consider the
record developed before the magistrate in making its
determination." Id. (quotation omitted).
the Bail Reform Act, a defendant must be detained pending
trial if a judge "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[.]" 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). The court
considers the nature and circumstances of the charged
offense, the weight of the evidence against the defendant,
the defendant's history and characteristics, and the
nature and seriousness of the danger the defendant's
release would pose to any person or the community. 18 U.S.C.
October 10 and 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge Majzoub held a
detention hearing and subsequently ordered that Benson be
detained pending trial. ECF 67, 72. At the hearing, the
magistrate judge explained why she was ordering detention.
She noted that Benson is accused of participating in an
attempted murder in 2011, two carjackings in 2012, and a
gunpoint robbery that same year. ECF 201, PgID 751-52. She
also noted that the weight of the evidence was strong: social
media posts and surveillance recordings captured statements
from Benson boasting of his participation in the above crimes
and his gang membership. The magistrate judge conceded that
Benson did not have a history of failing to appear for court
and did have some limited family contacts in the area, but
nevertheless found other reasons to disfavor bond; in
particular, she noted that Benson admitted to a history of
regular marijuana use and had, at the age of 23, worked a
total of five months in his entire life. Id. at 753.
And though he had not always been convicted when charged with
crimes, his contacts with the criminal justice system began
at the age of 15 and had continued up until the time of the
motion does not challenge the accuracy of anything the
magistrate judge relied upon. Rather, he makes essentially
two arguments. First, he "denies having any
affiliation" with any gangs, noting that he "has no
tattoos, bandana or flags" suggesting gang involvement.
ECF 203-1, PgID 765. Second, he notes that although he was
charged with a violent crime in the past, the charges were
dropped and he was never convicted. His sole conviction, he
points out, was for carrying a concealed weapon without a
license-a weapon crime, but not a violent one. Id.
signs or not, the Government has presented plenty of evidence
that suggests Benson's involvement with the gang. The
transcripts of Benson's detention hearing identify the
evidence and the Government's response brief here is
replete with much more. See generally ECF 209 (including
photographs from Benson's Facebook account depicting
marijuana packaged for sale, and Benson himself holding a
handgun and flashing the sign for the Playboy Gangster Crips
beside other alleged members).
is also good reason to conclude that Benson would be a danger
if released. He may not have many prior convictions, but he
now faces serious charges. In its response brief, the
Government detailed some of the statements Benson publicly
made about dealing in various drugs and weapons-none of which
Benson refutes. Moreover, the officers who arrested Benson
found an AK-47 in his house and he admitted it was his. And
following his arrest, Benson told co-defendants that if he
had been elsewhere when the arresting officers came to his
house, he would be "on the run[.]" Id. at
the testimony relied upon by the Magistrate Judge Majzoub has
not been withdrawn, disproven, or determined false. Having
reviewed the record, the Court finds sufficient reasons to
keep Benson detained. Because there are no grounds on which
to second guess the well-reasoned conclusions of the
magistrate judge, the motion will be denied.
it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's
motion for revocation of the detention order  is