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Case 3:19-mj-03033-KAR Document 13 Filed 02/15/19 Page 1 of 3

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff, Case No. 19-mj-3033-KAR

v.

JOHN AMERICO PEREIRA,

Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING THE GOVERNMENT’S


MOTION FOR PRETRIAL DETENTION
Defendant John Americo Pereira (Pereira) is charged by complaint with one count of

possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The government has moved for pre-trial

detention, invoking the presumption that applies in drug cases where the potential sentence is ten

years or more, 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A), on the basis that Pereira poses a risk of flight and

there are no conditions of pretrial release that can reasonably ensure his future appearances in

court as required. The government does not contend that the defendant would pose a risk to any

other person or the community if he were released pending trial. The court held a hearing on the

government’s motion on February 13, 2019 and, at the conclusion of the hearing, took the

government’s motion under advisement.

The factors to be considered in determining whether to release a defendant are set forth in

18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) and include the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; the weight

of the evidence as to guilt; the history and characteristics of the accused, including family ties,

history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, record concerning appearances at

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court proceedings, financial resources and employment; and the nature and seriousness of the

danger to any person or the community that would be posed by a release. See 18 U.S.C. §

3142(g).

The government’s reasons for moving for pre-trial detention based on risk of flight carry

weight. When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Pereira’s residence after a

year-long investigation, they found 362 pounds of marijuana and $688,000. The outcome of the

search at the defendant’s residence tends to support the government’s contentions that: (1) he

has been involved in a drug distribution ring with a national rather than a local scope; (2) he may

have connections outside of this jurisdiction to individuals who might assist him in flight and

have a motive to provide such assistance; and (3) he may have access to financial resources of

which the government is not aware. The government’s case appears strong and Pereira faces a

minimum mandatory sentence of five (5) years in a federal prison.

In terms of personal characteristics, according to the Pretrial Services Report, Pereira is

33 years old and has no prior criminal history. He has a single arrest for credit card fraud. The

charges were dismissed with no report of defaults. He is lifelong resident of western

Massachusetts with very strong family connections in this area. His family remains supportive.

Pereira has a stable residence in a rented house in East Longmeadow. In terms of employment,

he reported working at local bars in the Springfield area throughout college and thereafter. Most

recently, he was the manager of a bar owned by his father, which closed in January 2019. He is

presently unemployed. He has no health insurance. He reports a use of opiates not prescribed by

a physician for pain from sports injuries and anxiety.

Notwithstanding the presumption, see 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(A) and the government’s

credible concerns, the court finds, based on Pereira’s strong local ties and family support and

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lack of any criminal history, that the defendant has rebutted the presumption of pretrial detention

and that, with sufficiently stringent conditions, Pereira’s future appearances in court can be

reasonably assured if he is released pending trial. A form of conditions of release for Pereira is

attached hereto as exhibit 1. The United States Marshal is ordered to keep Pereira in custody

until all conditions of release, including installation of a GPS unit and posting of the requisite

security, are satisfied.

/s/ Katherine A. Robertson


KATHERINE A. ROBERTSON
Dated: February 15, 2018 United States Magistrate Judge