Judge Notes Massive Bail ‘Disparity’ in Felony Fentanyl Cases – $1,000 V. $300,000


By Isabelle Brady

MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes Tuesday oversaw the arraignments of Omar Acosta and Edelis Aguilar for fentanyl-related crimes—but one man had $1,000 bail and the other $300,000, a major difference required to remain free pending resolution of their cases.

The judge sarcastically called it a “little disparity.”

Acosta—who had the lower $1,000 bail—was charged with felony transportation of fentanyl. Aguilar was charged with felony transportation and sale of fentanyl—his $300,000 bail was steep.

The two were arraigned together. Because they are codefendants, the public defender’s office will be representing Acosta and called in a private attorney to represent Aguilar because of a potential conflict of interest.

She also entered not guilty pleas on Aguilar’s behalf to both felony charges. Acosta pled not guilty.

When discussing Acosta’s bail, Assistant Public Defender Daniel Johnson pointed out that Acosta was eligible for interim bail, which can be granted while a defendant’s application for regular bail is pending before court.

Judge Rhynes agreed to interim bail, noting to Deputy District Attorney Adam Bills, “The court is indicating it will be $1,000 per the interim bail schedule.”

Judge Rhynes ordered that if Acosta did bail out, he must “be of good conduct and obey all laws” and not “possess any controlled substances whatsoever, which certainly includes fentanyl.”

When Judge Rhynes asked what Aguilar’s bail was, she received an answer of $300,000.

“Okay, that’s a little disparity,” the judge admitted.

PD Johnson said “there was an excessive bail request for him that was approved.”

But apparently that request “didn’t make it into the computer,” as Judge Rhynes observed. “It says there was an excessive bail request made at the time, obviously, of the issuing of the warrant, which isn’t in the computer.”

Judge Rhynes said that she would “leave bail provisionally at $300,000 with no prejudice for his attorneys to address the issue when he is represented.”

Both Aguilar’s and Acosta’s next hearings are Feb. 10 at 8:30 a.m.


About The Author

Isabelle is a first year undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara majoring in philosophy. Her passions include writing, criminal justice reform and reading Kurt Vonnegut. She may or may not eventually attend law school.

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