A state appellate court ruled Wednesday that the $2.5 million bail set for a man accused of running a multimillion-dollar heroin network in Suffolk County was legal and will not be reduced.
Prosecutors say the man, Miguel Vicente, 33, of Brooklyn, was “the kingpin of a multimillion-dollar heroin network” that ran from Brooklyn to Eastern Long Island. Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Vicente allegedly supplied close to 40,000 bags of heroin to six dealers in 38 days. At a news conference in April, Spota said the drug ring raked in more than $3.6 million last year.
Vincente was named in a 37-count indictment that charged him with a slew of felony offenses, including a charge of operating as a major trafficker – an alleged crime that could land him behind bars for life. The judge in the case, State Supreme Court Judge William Condon, set bail at $2.5 million cash with a $7.5 million secured bond alternative. “This is about as serious a case as there could be,” Condon told Vicente at the arraignment proceeding in Riverhead.
Vicente filed an application with a state appellate court asking them to reduce his bail amount. However, the four-judge panel of the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division found Wednesday that the bail Condon set “did not violate ‘constitutional or statutory standards’” and ruled the amount would stay.
“We’re not happy with the decision,” Vicente’s lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, said, before declining to comment further. Record show Vicente has been held at the Suffolk County Jail since his arrest. He could not be reached for comment.
“There is every reason to set high bail on this defendant,” Spota said Wednesday. “Vicente is one of the most prolific heroin dealers we have ever seen … His bail was proper and appropriate.”
In total, 14 people were indicted in the ring, including 27-year-old Kelly Mullen and her 57-year-old husband, Aaron Smith, who prosecutors allege were distributing the drugs from the Holtsville home. Authorities said Mullen had purchased about 16,000 bags of heroin in five weeks and was selling the drugs at $10-per-bag. Spota said that in the five weeks investigators conducted their probe – which included wiretaps and surveillance – detectives saw as many as five dealers coming to the home every day.
When detectives raided the home in March, Mullen’s sister, April Mullen, 33, was allegedly caught trying to flush drugs down a toilet. Prosecutors said she was staying at the home with her six children – some of whom, according to authorities, were also fathered by Smith. All 14 suspects have pleaded not guilty and their cases are ongoing.