Crime Prosecutors: NY Bail Reform Law Hampering Drug Trafficking Cases

18:45  12 january  2020
18:45  12 january  2020 Source:   wcbs880.radio.com

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New York pols are making it impossible for law enforcement to keep the public safe. Gov. Cuomo and Albany lawmakers have virtually rolled out the welcome mat to Mexican drug cartels with their new bail reforms , according to someone who should know — New York City ’s top narcotics prosecutor .

The crime of drug trafficking is similar to drug possession, since it requires that the perpetrator knowingly possesses an illegal controlled substance. It is criminalized under both federal and state laws , and it is often prosecuted as a federal crime when a defendant moves drugs across state lines.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - The recently passed Federal Fentanyl Sanctions Act aims to clamp down on international drug traffickers, but it's facing a challenge from New York's new bail reform law, prosecutors say.

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The law is designed to get to the global root of fentanyl entering the U.S. Officials say the powerful opiate comes mainly from China and Mexico and enters the U.S. through places like Kennedy Airport.

"But there is another elephant in the room," says Congressman Max Rose, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, at a press conference Saturday. He says it's the state's new bail reform law, which prohibits judges from setting bail for a long list of nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors.

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Drug trafficking is drug dealing carried on at a high level. While California statutes generally draw no distinction between dealing and trafficking , the police, prosecutors , and judges send a signal that a drug crime will likely be dealt with harshly when they describe the offense as “ trafficking .”

Drug Law Changes. New York ’s Rockefeller Drug Laws , enacted in 1973, mandated long prison sentences for many drug offenders. The 2009 reform of New York ’s drug laws includes a requirement to study the impact of these changes (Executive Law Section 837(4)(b-1))).

City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says the bail reform law could get in the way of the federal fentanyl law.

There's only one drug felony on which someone can make bail in New York State: major trafficker. It sounds like it would cover a lot of people, but Brennan says it doesn't.

She says three of four defendants allegedly operating a heroin mill in the Bronx are now back on the streets thanks to the bail reforms.

"On Dec. 10, we had been able to indict one person as a major trafficker, because it requires that you have proof of who is a supervisor. Three other individuals, all of whom are citizens of the Dominican Republic, walked out the door.," Brennan said.

The new reforms are designed to benefit low-level, non-violent offenders.

"When it comes to narcotics, that has not been the case," Brennan said. "These are not low-level offenders, and as we know from so many of the stories we've seen in the newspaper, these are not non-violent offenders," she said.

Alleged serial bank robber sprung by New York bail law turns himself in .
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