Springfield mayor weighs in on repeat offender releases | News


SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — A multi-state narcotics investigation leads to three arrests and a major gun and drug seizure where police found a total of 16 guns, 15,000 packets of heroin, and nearly one kilogram of fentanyl. But one of the men arrested has been arrested before on drug charges.

Alexander Rivera was arrested in the past for drug offenses. We dig deeper into his criminal record and also, a bill Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is proposing to the state.

28-year-old Geovanni Saldana, 34-year-old Jose Rios, and 31-year-old Alexander Rivera were all arrested for serious gun and drug charges.

“Those are instruments of death. Those are serious firearms that could really do a lot of damage in terms of loss of life on the streets when used illegally,” Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said.

Gulluni describing how serious the drug and gun offenses are, but Alexander Rivera was let out on a $50,000 cash bail. His charges include gun and drug offenses. Western Mass News digging deeper. We found out Rivera was arrested in 2011 for a drug bust. Gulluni reacts to Rivera being back on the streets in Springfield.

“We think this is very serious, and we do our best to ensure that folks are held and certainly as we go forward with the prosecution, which will take some time. We’re going to try to hold them to account for these very serious criminal violations,” Gulluni said.

Rivera’s earlier charges were eventually dropped and dismissed in part because of the Sonja Farak drug lab scandal.

Meanwhile, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno wants to crack down on crime so people like Rivera can’t bail themselves out.

“The one that was let go, now, then 10 years ago, was doing the same thing. When I am going across the city no matter what creed, color, and background, residents or business community they want as I do these repeat violent, poison dealing criminal offenders off our streets,” Gulluni said.

So Sarno is proposing a bill that gives the Commonwealth the right to appeal bail decisions. Meaning if the public does not like the bail decision for a repeat offender, they can bring it to a higher court.

“And this would have to be in a timely fashion. It’s taking nobody’s rights away. Some states do it here in the United States of America. So you can trigger a red flag saying hey this person really needs to be held,” Sarno said.

Sarno tells us the bill will be heard by the State Legislator on Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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