According to reports, a man from New York City who was found in Chelsea, Manhattan, with tens of thousands of fentanyl tablets was released from detention without posting bail.
Manuel Pagan, 49, was reportedly found in possession of roughly 20,000 fentanyl tablets by New York City Police, who then charged him with illegal possession of a prohibited narcotic.
Pagan is charged with two felonies, including illegal possession of drugs with intent to distribute and possession of more than 8 ounces of drugs, according to the New York State Unified Court System website. The former is a class-B felony, while the latter is a first-degree class-A crime.
According to court filings, tablets were colorful, which is how investigators claim they are used to target younger kids, according to The New York Post. 2020 saw the implementation of criminal justice reform laws in New York, which included the elimination of cash bail for the majority of non-violent felonies and misdemeanors.
Aggravated assault on a child under the age of 11, aggravated vehicular murder, third- and fourth-degree arson, and encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity were some of the crimes for which bail was not an option.
First-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance is now a bailable charge according to changes made by the state assembly this year to the criminal justice reform law that was passed in 2019 and put into effect in 2020.
The city’s Office of the Special Narcotics prosecutor, who is in charge of the case, reportedly asked that Pagan be held on a $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail at his arraignment, according to The New York Post.
Instead, Pagan was freed without posting bail by Manhattan Judge James Clyne. Pagan is allowed to “roam the streets,” as the Post called it, but Clyne granted supervised release, which has requirements like check-ins. The next court appearance for Pagan is set for December 15 at 9 a.m.