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Federal judge in Brooklyn dismisses criminal case after ICE refuses to release man who made bail

January 10, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal judge in Brooklyn dismisses criminal case after ICE refuses to release man who made bail U.S.District Court Judge for Brooklyn's Eastern District Irizarry

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An alleged money launderer who posted $100,000 bond but remains behind bars is the latest person involved in a new battle between the federal government and the court system.

On three instances over the past six months, New York federal judges have informed authorities that they can’t have someone in ICE custody when that same individual has already posted bail, the New York Daily News reported.

That was Brooklyn Federal Judge Dora Irizarry’s message on Salomon Benzadon Boutin, whose ICE custody made his criminal case go away.

Irizarry said the feds could release 36-year-old Boutin from immigration custody so he could fight the criminal case while out on bond. Or, she stated, that they could keep Boutin in his New Jersey jail and she will drop the indictment.

On Wednesday, Irizarry dismissed the case once Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Karthik Srinivasan said Boutin wouldn’t be released.

In the three cases, Irizarry and a Manhattan federal judge have claimed that judicial bail decisions are supposed to control who is detained, not ICE officials.

To solve the issue, the three rulings said prosecutors could go with the case while the person’s out on bond, or have immigration authorities go with a removal case while the person’s in custody.

“We’ve seen a shift towards immigration detaining people that a federal magistrate judge has already determined are not a flight risk,” Isaac Wheeler, an immigration specialist at the Federal Defenders of New York, said.

“We have heard from at least one local official that they have been told to detain people charged with bringing contraband into the United States, who CBP has released in recent years,” Wheeler added.

Before Boutin’s case, Just Irizarry gave the same ultimatum regarding a Panamanian-Spanish dual citizen who overstayed his visa.

When ICE declined to release the man, prosecutors dropped the indictment. They have now filed an appeal.

In a separate case back in July, Manhattan Federal Judge Valerie Caproni wrote the legal code wasn’t some “take-out menu whereby the Government can mix-and-match” bail and immigration laws.

Manhattan federal prosecutors chose to release Thiodore Galitsa stay on bail and then secured an illegal reentry conviction at trial.

Additionally, the Daily News reported that there is at least one other pending Brooklyn bid, in which a detained drug smuggler said his case has to get dropped because he was supposed to be released on a $30,000 bond.

An ICE spokeswoman said the agency keeps its enforcement focus on people who are a threat to national security, public safety, and border security.

ICE has complied with laws and agency policy, the spokeswoman said. “However, ICE does not exempt classes of removable aliens from enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the U.S.”

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