DA Pasqua tells state leaders 'Bail Reform Law' not working
CANTON -- Reacting to a recent drug bust in Massena where all three defendants were released, St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua is calling on state politicians to amend the Bail Reform Law.
Pasqua noted that on Tuesday, Sept. 27, a court-authorized search warrant was executed at a residence at 2 Grinnell Avenue in Massena. During the operation, the Massena Village Police, with assistance of the New York State Police, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, United States Border Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations, seized 630 packets of Fentanyl packaged for sale in addition to over 17 grams of crack cocaine.Eric Levac of Massena, Zymeir McKnight and Rasan Gosa, both of Jersey City, N.J. were arrested and each were charged with three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
Despite the fact that two of the defendants were from another state and the drugs seized were packaged for sale, all three defendants were released under New York State's "bail reform" law.
"Once again the supposed reforms made in Albany have put the people of St. Lawrence County, and the entire State of New York, at risk. The diligent, hard work of our law enforcement partners stopped these lethal substances from being distributed into our communities,” Pasqua stated. “But, time after time, 'bail reform' allows defendants charged with possessing narcotics with intent to sell them to walk right out of court after arraignment. We in law enforcement have to watch again and again as defendants, who were only in St. Lawrence County to sell narcotics and profit from our citizens' addictions, pain and potential death, are released to walk our streets to carry on their narcotics dealing and then return home once they have made enough profit.”
The district attorney explained that as of the end of July, there have been 175 reported overdoses in the North Country this year alone, including 17 fatalities with many of those attributed to Fentanyl.
“Lawmakers in Albany need to take a serious look at the issues these reforms have created and make the changes necessary to keep the people of St. Lawrence County, and this State, safe,” Pasqua remarked.