Massive Fentanyl Bust Suspects Fail to Appear in Court in California after Cashless Bail Release

The two people arrested in connection with a massive 150,000 fentanyl pill bust in California failed to appear in court on Thursday after their release on cashless bail, authorities said.

The authorities released the defendants, Benito Madrigal, 19, and Jose Zendejas, 25, less than a day on their recognizance. The police arrested them with a sizeable illicit drug stash and were to appear in Central California at the Tulare County Courthouse on Thursday morning. However, both suspects didn’t show up.

And this happens when more people continue to look for the best rehab centers in California seeking treatment for drug addiction. These facilities have recorded an increase in individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

Luckily, these facilities have the necessary resources to assist people in overcoming their addiction problems. Some people in these centers have an addiction to illicit drugs like fentanyl. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the news of these suspects not appearing in court worries many people.

The court realized the Madrigal and Zendejas, from Washington State, were no show when the judge called their names.

Warrant of Arrest

The arrest warrant for both suspects continues, and the court withdrew their $2 million bond while directing the police to hold them without a bond if they catch them. On Tuesday, Mike Boudreaux, the Tulare County Sheriff, said he expected the defendant not to appear, blaming the soft-on-crime-attitude of the state and the criminal justice reform.

He argued that the reform policy set the drug traffickers free with only the promise of showing up in court. Unfortunately, this comes when more people struggle to get help from the best drug rehabs in California.

The sheriff said he knew about the order when it was too late. He further expressed his disbelief that the police netted 150,000 fentanyl pills. Boudreaux added that the drug is currently the nation’s most dangerous epidemic.

According to the CDC report, DEA and CDC have issued alerts identifying fentanyl as a national threat. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s available in different forms, including powder, pellets, and pills. The pills resemble other opioids like oxycodone but are much cheaper and sometimes mixed with or passed off as heroin.

The CDC also warned that fentanyl exposure could result in severe respiratory depression and death. Some people who use fentanyl recreationally say they enjoy the short and intense high it produces. However, others have accidentally overdosed after taking a tiny amount of the drug unknowingly.

Even though many people continue to look for the best rehab facilities in California, some still end up struggling with addiction problems. That’s because some facilities lack proper resources to help people overcome their addiction problems.

Unfortunately, releasing the suspect ruined the only opportunity the police had to impact the drug trafficking organization.

Speaking to Fox News, Tim Ward, the Tulare County District Attorney, said that letting the suspects go under the pre-trial release program in the middle of the night is a nontransparent and dangerous matter. Tim described the courthouse’s initial decision to let the defendants go as lacking factual foundation.

Tim noted that everyone had realized the mistake that shouldn’t continue. He added that the state and legislature want a social experiment based on the law-abiding citizens’ back. According to Tim, the defendants would have some financial motivation and obligation to show up in court if they were subject to bail upon arrest.

The Arrest

Patrol officers on a California highway pulled over the vehicle with the two suspects on 24th June at around 7:30 p.m near Tulare Avenue and Highway 99. The patrol officers sought assistance from the HIDTA, which recovered 150 packages with 1,000 fentanyl pills each inside.

A vehicle search helped the police to find two cocaine kilograms. According to the Sherriff’s department, the street value for the seizure was around $750,000. The police arrested Madrigal and Zendejas and initially booked them into Tulare County Pretrial Facility.

The Bail

Initially, the suspects’ bail was $1 million per the seized drugs’ quantity. However, the risk assessment department classified the suspects as low-risk, leading to their subsequent release on their recognizance.

Nobody consulted the sheriff or the district attorney before releasing the suspects. Later the detectives submitted evidence to the attorney’s office, filing a four-count complaint for charging the suspects.

These charges include the count of transportation/sale/offering to sell a controlled substance, fentanyl. The second count is on transportation for non-contiguous county/sale of cocaine, alleging that the drug was more than one kilogram. Another count was on transportation/sale/offering to sell cocaine, a controlled substance. The final count was on false compartment activity.

Unfortunately, the two suspects are at large, yet the best drug rehab centers in California continue to record increasing numbers of people seeking help with substance addiction. Their disappearance could only mean they may be peddling more illicit drugs.

Judge Nathan Leedy set their bail at $2.15 and issued a new warrant for their arrest during the hearing. The suspects are set for arraignment in court on Thursday. Madrigal and Zendejas face 14-year imprisonment should the court convict them on all counts.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. Sometimes, doctors use it to treat patients with tolerance to other opioids. However, because of its potency, fentanyl carries a high risk for abuse and addiction.

That’s why some people end up seeking the best rehabs in California. The most unfortunate thing is that the drug is readily available on the streets. Reports show that fentanyl is a common overdose drug and one of the opioids causing overdose deaths in America. In 2017, more than 28,400 people died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. And this is a significant increase from the previous year.

If you know someone struggling with fentanyl addiction, help them seek assistance from one of the best rehab centers in California.








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