Alleged drug dealer who fled agents can’t be held on bail under new laws

A suspected drug dealer who narrowly missed a pedestrian as he drove down a Manhattan sidewalk to evade DEA agents was ordered held on bail Tuesday — but will be released from jail in less than two months under new bail-reform laws.

Judge Anne Swern ordered Arfhy “Coyote” Santos held on $100,000 cash or bond at his arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan criminal court on charges of reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an incident, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, marijuana possession and attempted grand larceny.

On Aug. 16, 2019, DEA agents intercepted Santos trying to sell two kilos of fake cocaine to a buyer, but the 22-year-old fled. Authorities caught up to him Monday at a nightclub in the Bronx, where he was busted with three pounds of marijuana and charged with the earlier incident.

Santos’ lawyer, Luis Diaz, argued in court that his client should be released without bail given the new legislation that takes effect Jan. 1 eliminates bail for misdemeanors and most non-violent crimes. It is retroactive, and inmates in such cases can apply to have their bail lifted and to be freed. Those considered a flight risk, meanwhile, may be put in supervised release under the new law.

“This defendant stands before you [charged] with offenses which are not subject to bail under the new reform act,” the attorney said.

Michael Di Paolo, assistant with the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, argued for $200,000 bond.

Santos, he said, has two prior non-violent felony convictions and has racked up 28 suspensions on 14 different dates.

To avoid arrest on Aug. 16, Santos, who doesn’t have a valid license, rammed his BMW X6 into a law-enforcement vehicle, which had its lights and sirens on, and almost hit an agent who tried to stop him, Di Paolo said.

In January 2018, Santos struck a cop who tried to pull him over in Times Square for doing burnouts in a black Mercedes Benz C63.

In that incident, Di Paolo said that when police finally caught up to Santos four days later, he tried to flee out a window to escape arrest.

In 2016, he was busted for running a dozen red lights in Washington Heights and nearly hitting police officers and at least six pedestrians, who were forced to jump out of the way to escape harm.

The judge did not address the bail reform rules in her decision.

Santos is due back in court Nov. 22.

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