ICE arrests Dominican national involved in fentanyl ring released under state bail reform law, agency says

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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 14: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), agents detain an immigrant on October 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. ICE agents said the immigrant, a legal resident with a Green Card, was a convicted criminal and member of the Alabama Street Gang in the Canoga Park area. ICE builds deportation cases against thousands of immigrants living in the United States. Green Card holders are also vulnerable to deportation if convicted of certain crimes. The number of ICE detentions and deportations from California has dropped since the state passed the Trust Act in October 2013, which set limits on California state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK — A Dominican national previously charged with participating in a $7 million fentanyl ring and released from custody under New York state’s Bail Reform Act was arrested by ICE agents on Thursday, the agency said.

According to ICE, Livio Alexander Valdez Zabala entered the U.S. March 12, 2019 as a nonimmigrant visitor with authorization to remain until Sept. 11.

The agency said, though, he stayed in the country illegally past that date.

On Jan. 28, the NYPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Valdez Zabala and charged him with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, the ICE spokesperson said.

Valdez Zabala was arraigned and released on his own recognizance before ICE lodged an immigration detainer, they said. He was released without bail under the state’s new bail reform law.

“It’s incomprehensible that someone who was arrested for participating in a drug ring worth over $7 million dollars would be released back into the community instead of collaborating with ICE to keep the city safe,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York.

On Feb. 27, ERO officers arrested Valdez Zabala in Manhattan, officials said. He is currently in ICE custody pending immigration proceedings with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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