Grass Valley, CA – An armed drug dealer accused of possessing enough heroin, methamphetamine, and opiates to get over 2,000 people high was released on his own recognizance just days after his arrest.
The incident began at approximately 10:30 a.m. on June 12, near a laundromat in the area of East Main Street and Dorsey Drive, Grass Valley Police Sergeant Brian Blakemore told KNCO.
A witness told police that a man had been slumped over the wheel of his black sedan for about two hours, but the witness didn’t know whether the man was sleeping or suffering from a medical issue.
When officers approached the vehicle, they spotted a bong and suspected heroin lying in the unconscious driver’s lap, The Union reported.
The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Jeremy Sulley, was put through “a series of tests and [was] found to be under the influence of a controlled substance,” Sgt. Blakemore told The Union.
“GVPD Officers spent many hours writing and serving search warrants related to this case,” the department said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “In the end, they recovered enough narcotics to leave over 2,000 people ‘under the influence’ - that’s more than 15% of the entire population of Grass Valley.”
In addition to the drugs, police also seized a loaded .22-caliber handgun, approximately $1,000 in cash, a billy club, and an illegal butterfly knife, The Union reported.
Investigators found packaging materials and scales that further indicated “this was much more than just a ‘personal use’ amount” of illegal drugs, the department explained in the Facebook post.
Sulley was booked on charges of sales and transportation of heroin, sales and transportation of methamphetamine, and sales and transportation of oxycodone, and his bond was initially set at $250,000.
But on Friday, Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger went against the recommendation of Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh, and opted to release Sulley on his own recognizance, The Union reported.
“He was released ‘ON HIS OWN RECOGNIZANCE’ without paying a single cent in bail,” the police department railed in the post. “The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office did their part by filing a slew of charges and arguing for a significant bail amount.....but, he was released anyway.”
“Our desire is to protect the community from armed drug dealers!” the agency added. “But, unfortunately, this guy is back out on the street within short order.”
Heidelberger declined to comment on Sunday, and noted that judges are not allowed to speak about pending cases, The Union reported.
Walsh said his office still believes that the alleged armed drug dealer should not have been allowed to walk out of jail without bond.
“We believe he presents a significant public safety risk and we think bail should have been set,” Walsh maintained.
Grass Valley police received an overwhelming amount of support in response to their Facebook post, including multiple people who asked what they could do to help prevent similar outcomes in the future, The Union reported.
“This has been asked many times on this post,” the department wrote in response to one such inquiry. “We hope our community will stay informed about these very important issues, not just today, but into the future!”