Six men arrested in connection with running a massive drug ring, including reportedly harboring millions in illegal fentanyl, were released Wednesday morning without bail due to New York’s crazy new law banning cash bail.
According to the New York Daily News, Livo Valdez, Jaslin Baldera, Frederick Baldera, Frandi Ledema, Diego Tejada and Pafraimy Antonio were all charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia after police busted up their drug ring and seized an estimated 750,000 glassine envelops stuffed with heroin and fentanyl from a Bronx apartment. The haul has an estimated street value of about $7 million.
Even still, all six arrestees were released Tuesday without bail thanks to a recently passed, Democrat-backed state law banning cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
Democrats claimed the new rule, which was supported and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and went into effect on Jan. 1, would keep poor people from sitting in prison until their trial while other, more wealthy people could simply pay the money and walk free. Supporters said the law would reduce the state’s incarceration rate and keep people from losing their jobs while in prison or going into debt to make bail.
Critics, on the other hand, have argued that putting an end to cash bail would enable criminals to be released back onto the streets – criminals like, say, six accused drug dealers with a multi-million-dollar stash of illicit substances.
Under the new law, “None of the defendants are eligible for bail,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Di Paolo said in the court hearing Wednesday morning.