Man faces life for drug trafficking in Detroit skips town after posting $200 bail
DETROIT (FOX 2) - A Mexican citizen who was arrested and charged with carrying a massive amount of cocaine and heroin in Detroit is facing life in prison - but he's gone after posting a $200 bail and then skipping town.
Jose Lopez was arrested with a thousand grams of heroin and cocaine each, police say. But when he was arraigned in Magistrate Vesta Svenson's court, she set his bond at $20,000/10 percent.
"When you arraign someone they are presumed innocent," Svenson said. "I gave it my best judgment call."
Police Chief James Craig doesn't agree. He says Lopez is in the US illegally and should have been seen as someone who would jump bail.
"We're talking about a high-mid-level drug dealer who comes to our city, transporting 1,000 grams of heroin 1,000 grams of cocaine which could result in consecutive life sentences and a judge did not see that this was a flight risk?" Craig said Thursday.
After his arraignment, Lopez posted the $200 bail and hasn't been seen since and missed his court date.
"So we give a high this drug dealer low bond and as predicted he absconded," Craig said.
Svenson said Lopez was arraigned on the weekend and those arraignments are different than ones that take place in the week.
"When you do arraignments on the the weekend you don't get the full resources, police officers, or anything like that," she said.
Craig, again, disagrees and says the judge had what was needed.
"I'm not going to tell you exactly what paperwork was sent but certainly the magistrate had the information on the arrest," Craig said. "I'm disappointed because this, for me, is about public safety."
Police are still searching for Lopez and trying to determine what went wrong. Svenson says it's a system problem.
"Any time a bond is set and somebody makes the bond and doesn't come back, that's a problem. But I don't think it's a problem for the judge or the magistrate, I think it's a problem for the system," she said.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the magistrate had everything she needed to make a decision on bond. She also said a weekend prosecutor would be part of a proposal from her office.
"For over a year a prosecutor is assigned Monday through Friday for arraignments in 36th District Court in Detroit to argue bond motions. We have never had the resources for a weekend arraignment prosecutor, but I will be asking for this in our next budget."