United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge.
the Court are defendant Khalid S.A. Alkarsh’s motion
and supplemental motion for travel order (Dkt. Nos. 273,
275). Mr. Alkarsh is under indictment for allegedly
conspiring to defraud knowingly and intentionally the United
States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) of
money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(“SNAP”) by claiming that he and his business
were legitimately entitled to reimbursement for SNAP benefit
redemptions with a value of $100 or more, when in truth and
fact defendants were trading cash and ineligible items for
SNAP benefit redemptions in violation of 7 U.S.C. §
2024(c) (Dkt. No. 3). The indictment also alleges specific
overt acts were committed by Mr. Alkarsh, along with others,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and that Mr. Alkarsh,
along with others, purportedly engaged in conduct in
violation of 7 U.S.C. § 2024(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 2
(Dkt. No. 3). Mr. Alkarsh is awaiting trial; the Court makes
no finding on the allegations pending against him.
November 19, 2015, United States Magistrate Judge Patricia
Harris entered an order setting Mr. Alkarsh’s
conditions of release pending trial (Dkt. No. 22). In Judge
Harris’s Order, she did not require Mr. Alkarsh to
remain in custody while he awaited trial but did require him
to surrender his passport and to remain in the Eastern
District of Arkansas, along with various other requirements
(Dkt. No. 22).
28, 2016, Mr. Alkarsh filed his original motion for travel
order (Dkt. No. 273), to which the government objected (Dkt.
No. 274). Subsequently, Mr. Alkarsh filed his supplemental
motion for travel order, representing that the government no
longer objected to his request (Dkt. No. 275). According to
Mr. Alkarsh’s motion and information the Court has
garnered from the United States Probation Office, Mr. Alkarsh
wishes to travel to Dearborn, Michigan, until August 1, 2016,
to visit his family. The government opposed the initial
motion before Mr. Alkarsh provided to the Court and the
government additional information (Dkt. No. 275). The Court
communicated with counsel for all parties via email on July
8, 2016, and on subsequent dates thereafter to inform them of
the Court’s understanding of Mr. Alkarsh’s
supplemental motion for travel order, to confirm the
parties’ positions, and to raise with the parties a few
of the Court’s concerns so that the parties could
address those concerns.
email exchange, counsel for Mr. Alkarsh as well as United
States Probation Officer Sophia Morris provided to the Court
and the government additional information regarding Mr.
Alkarsh’s travel plans. It is unclear to this Court
whether Mr. Alkarsh is a United States citizen. The United
States Probation Office reports that he is a citizen of Yemen
but has a green card and is in the United States legally. The
government represents that, according to “DHS”
which this Court understands to be the Department of Homeland
Security, Mr. Alkarsh is a United States citizen, born in
Yemen. At a minimum, all agree that in compliance with Judge
Harris’s Order, Mr. Alkarsh has surrendered his
passport to the United States Probation Office (Dkt. No. 22).
Court raised concerns related to this because of the risk of
flight. Mr. Alkarsh’s counsel represents that, since
being placed on pretrial conditions, Mr. Alkarsh has not
attempted to flee. The government represents that, in regard
to this concern, it has no new information to provide to the
Court and no basis to believe that Mr. Alkarsh is more likely
to flee from Michigan than from Helena-West Helena.
Alkarsh represents that his wife and children are in Michigan
with his parents, and he will be staying with them at his
parents’ house, until August 1, 2016. Mr. Alkarsh has
represented to the Court that he plans to leave the day after
the Court grants his request, if the Court opts to do so. In
addition, Mr. Alkarsh provided to the Court contact
information for a man purporting to be Mr. Alkarsh’s
brother, Tahir Alkarsh, with whom Ms. Morris has spoken and
who represents that he lives in the residence with Mr.
Alkarsh’s parents, where Mr. Alkarsh plans to stay.
Tahir Alkarsh confirmed for Ms. Morris the address provided
by Mr. Alkarsh and confirmed that Mr. Alkarsh’s wife
and children are currently at that residence visiting. Tahir
Alkarsh also informed Ms. Morris that he is amenable to the
United States Probation Office contacting him in the event
that Ms. Morris cannot reach Mr. Alkarsh while he is in
this additional information, the government now represents to
the Court that it wishes to leave the decision of whether to
grant Mr. Alkarsh’s supplemental motion to travel to
the Court’s discretion.
Court grants Mr. Alkarsh’s supplemental motion (Dkt.
No. 275) under certain conditions. The Court denies as moot
Mr. Alkarsh’s initial motion (Dkt. No. 273). This Court
grants to Mr. Alkarsh the limited relief specified in this
Order from the pretrial restriction that he remain in the
Eastern District of Arkansas pending trial. The Court will
allow Mr. Alkarsh to travel to Dearborn, Michigan, on or
after July 14, 2016, and to return to the Eastern District of
Arkansas on or before August 1, 2016. He must travel directly
to Dearborn, Michigan, from the Eastern District of Arkansas;
he is not permitted to travel to any other destination
without prior written approval from the United States
Probation Office or this Court. While in Dearborn, Michigan,
Mr. Alkarsh is permitted to stay with his parents at their
residence; during his stay in Dearborn, Michigan, he is not
permitted to stay or reside at any other location without
prior written approval from the United States Probation
Office or this Court. The Court orders that, during his stay
in Dearborn, Michigan, Mr. Alkarsh communicate with his
supervising probation officer, ...