Two alleged drug traffickers have been released from a California jail just days after they were busted with 150,000 fentanyl pills, the disgruntled local sheriff said.
Jose Zendejas, 25, and Benito Madrigal, 19, were arrested during a traffic stop in Tulare County last Friday when authorities allegedly discovered the 150,000 pills — worth an estimated $750,000 — stashed inside their vehicle.
The pair was immediately booked into the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on charges of possession, transportation and sales of illegal drugs.
But Zendejas and Madrigal were released from custody on their own recognizance just days later after a judge granted them a court order.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Monday distancing itself from the decision to let the two alleged drug traffickers back on the streets, saying the agency felt it “necessary to clear up any confusion.”
“All inmates booked into Tulare County jails are sent through what is known as the Risk Assessment Process through the Tulare County Probation Department,” the statement said.
“That ‘Risk Assessment’ is then sent to a judge with the court, who, then, determines whether or not the individual arrested is held on bail or if they are to be released.”
In this instance, the sheriff’s office said it received a court order releasing both Zendejas and Madrigal from custody on their own recognizance.
“Although Sheriff [Mike] Boudreaux strongly disagrees with the release of these individuals as a matter of public safety, the court order release must be followed,” the statement said.