I’m sure the residents of Gotham must be feeling safer by the day and sleeping soundly in their beds at night. On Monday evening, the NYPD obtained a warrant to search an apartment in the Bronx suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. The results surprised even the veteran law enforcement officers. Six people were inside and in the process of packaging up three quarters of a million bags of heroin and fentanyl. No, that wasn’t a typo. They had more than 750,000 bags of potentially lethal drugs in their apartment.
The six suspects were taken into custody along with the mountain of evidence. And the following day, thanks to New York’s generous new bail reform laws, all of them were released on their own recognizance without putting up a dime of bail money. The craziness in New York is indeed reaching new heights. (NY Daily News)
Six people arrested in connection with a $7 million drug trafficking ring based in the Bronx were released late Tuesday without bail under the new state criminal justice reform law, officials said.
The suspects were busted Monday following a search of an apartment on Sedgewick Ave. in Kingsbridge that seized 750,000 glassine envelopes of heroin and fentanyl.
Under the state’s new criminal justice reform laws, nonviolent drug trafficking is not one of the offenses in which a judge can impose bail.
Even though he’s based further down the east coast, Senator Tom Cotton even weighed in on the insanity of this situation.
Six drug traffickers w/ 750,000 doses of heroin & fentanyl were released without bail because NY now considers this "nonviolent."
If these traffickers were willing to poison 750k people, why would they voluntarily show up to court for trial? https://t.co/rvdIAWHOM4 (2/4)
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 4, 2020
The attorney for one of the drug dealers released a statement praising New York’s bail reform law. He said, “Our client, who has no criminal record and has not been found guilty of any crime, is on supervised release, the City’s own highly successful program, which has been in effect for several years.”
Your client may have “no criminal record,” but that’s only because he hadn’t been caught yet. That’s why we have bail. The guy was caught red-handed with hundreds of thousands of bags of drugs. Now he’s looking at anywhere from eight to twenty years in prison. What possible incentive does he have to stick around and show up for his court date in February?
As we discussed previously, this new law is driving up costs for taxpayers, particularly in terms of overtime pay for the police. This is probably another prime example of that effect. Now that these six are out on the loose and obviously are a flight risk, the cops are going to have to trail them around for the next month to see if they try to make a break for it and flee the state. That means overtime pay and some number of officers who will not be able to investigate other crimes and keep the city’s citizens safe.
Even if you agree with some measure of criminal justice reform along these lines, the original intent of the bill was to prevent nonviolent, small time offenders from being stuck in jail for months because they couldn’t afford bail. These six guys were sitting on seven million dollars worth of dangerous drugs in a neighborhood that suffers drug overdose deaths at a rate well above the national average. Does that sound to you like harmless people who have “been trapped in the criminal justice rabbit hole?” (That’s how one proponent of the law described it.)
Last week the Governor suggested that some changes to the law may be coming but that it’s an ongoing process. That’s not good enough. This was a stupid idea that is making New York less safe by the day. It needs to go. And any smart people with the resources to manage the feat should pack their stuff and get out while they can.