A judge allowed six men charged with possession of millions of dollars worth of fentanyl to be released without bail, a result of New York's new criminal justice law, according to the New York Post.
Livo Valdez, Jaslin Baldera, Frederick Baldera, Frandi Ledema, Diego Tejada, and Parfraimy Antonio were arrested Monday in an alleged heroin and fentanyl packaging mill, in which police found hundreds of thousands of envelopes of fentanyl powder — valued at $7 million.
Authorities believe the massive amount of drugs was being packaged for distribution onto the streets of New York and the New England region.
The judge at Manhattan Criminal Court released the men after their arraignment Wednesday, citing the fact that they don't have previous criminal records and that their families showed up for the court proceedings. Assistant District Attorney Michael Di Paolo argued that "none of them are eligible for bail."
The men were ordered to surrender their passports due to ties to the Dominican Republic, and their family members celebrated as they were released.
The suspects are due back in court on Feb. 27. They face charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Under New York's controversial new bail law, criminal courts are no longer allowed to set cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
The law quickly came under fire from critics after Tiffany Harris, a woman who repeatedly attacked orthodox Jewish women, was arrested three times in one week for such assaults.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has acknowledged some problems and admitted there are some "consequences we have to adjust for."
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said there is a clear connection between the law and increased crime.
"In the first three weeks of this year, we're seeing significant spikes in crime. So either we forgot how to police New York City, or there's a correlation," Shea said, according to the Washington Examiner.