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.