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United States v. Kimmy

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 1, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Gregory Kimmy, a/k/a Fat P, Defendant.

          ORDER AND MEMORANDUM

          DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Government's request for de novo review of Magistrate Judge Andrew W. Austin's Order Setting Conditions of Release filed on May 30, 2017, Doc. No. 14, United States of America v. Kimmy, 1:17-MJ-375 (W.D. Tex. May 30, 2017) (“Kimmy I”). (Doc. No. 58.) After the Magistrate Judge ordered Defendant released, the Government filed an emergency motion seeking a stay of the release, which the Court granted pending its review of the Order. (Doc. Nos. 59 & 60.) The Government argues that Defendant should not be released because there is no set of conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community and Defendant's appearance at trial or that Defendant will not abide by the conditions of release. After the Court granted the stay, the Magistrate Judge issued an order and supplement to the order detailing his bases for granting release. (Kimmy I, Doc. Nos. 17 & 18) Both parties have filed responses to the Magistrate Judge's orders. (Doc. Nos. 68 & 71.)

         Based upon the presentations of counsel, the Court having reviewed the file in this matter, including the parties' submissions to the Magistrate Judge (Kimmy I, Doc. Nos. 2 & 6), the audio transcript from the May 30, 2017 hearing, Magistrate Judge's Order and Supplement to the Order, the Pretrial Services Report, as well as the letters from friends and family on behalf of the Defendant, and the Court being otherwise duly advised in the premises, the Court hereby enters the following:

         ORDER

         1. The Government's Motion for Emergency Stay and for Review and Revocation of Release Order (Doc. No. [58]) is GRANTED.

         2. Pending further order of this Court or hearing before this Court, the Court REVOKES the release order entered by Magistrate Judge Andrew W. Austin on May 30, 2017. The Court specifically finds, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3), that there is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the defendant's appearance as required and the safety of the community.

         3. Detention Hearing. The Court reserves the right to set a detention hearing before it once the defendant is present in the District of Minnesota and has had an opportunity to consult with counsel.

         Consequently, the Court specifically orders that Defendant be detained pending further order of this Court.

         MEMORANDUM

         Defendant Gregory Kimmy was indicted as a member of an international sex-trafficking and money-laundering organization. Kimmy has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, and Coercion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594 (Count 1); Conspiracy to Commit Transportation to Engage in Prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 2421 (Count 3); Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Count 4); and Conspiracy to Use a Communication Facility to Promote Prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1952 (Count 5). Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, if convicted of these offenses, Defendant faces an advisory sentence of life in prison.

         Defendant was allegedly one of the house bosses for the sex-trafficking organization. House bosses would run the day-to-day operations, including advertising victims for commercial sex acts, procuring and maintaining the houses of prostitution, scheduling sex buyers, and ensuring that a portion of the cash was routed back to pay down the victim's bondage debts. (Doc. No. 46 (“Indictment”) ¶ 5b.) In exchange, house bosses retained a significant portion of the cash that the victims received, typically 40%. (Id.) House bosses would also coordinate with traffickers and other house bosses to facilitate the victims' travel to other cities in the United States. (Id.) Once victims were lured to the United States, they were forced to work long hours-often all day, every day-having sex with strangers to attempt to pay down their bondage debt. Victims typically did not have the ability to choose with whom they had sex, what sex transactions they would engage in, or when they would have sex. (Id. ¶ 4.)

         Defendant and his wife are both indicted house bosses in this case. (Id. ¶ 5.) Defendant and his wife are lessors of a house where law enforcement observed activity consistent with an active house of prostitution-i.e., a series of men, later identified by the victims as sex buyers, entering and leaving the house at hourly intervals. (Doc. No. 58 at 8-9.) Defendant was observed at the house of prostitution, and a phone number associated with him was used to schedule sex buyers. (Kimmy I, Doc. No. 17 (“Order”) ¶ 2.) Additionally, the Government states that witnesses-including a co-defendant-will testify that Defendant was a house boss.

         Defendant has sought pretrial release. The Pretrial Services Report recommended that Defendant be detained because of: (1) the nature of the offense; (2) Defendant's foreign ties-his step-son lives in Thailand, and Defendant's wife owns a home there; (3) Defendant's possession of a valid U.S. Passport; (4) Defendant's trip to Thailand in 2014; and (5) Defendant's ownership of a firearm. The Magistrate Judge, however, granted conditional release, and the Government appealed. The district court conducts a de novo review of release and detention orders. Pursuant to Rule ...


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