BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Magistrate Judge Catherine Taylor ordered Thursday that Eric Greene, 19, of White Rock remain in custody at the Los Alamos Detention Center and be released 30 minutes ahead of his time to report to his job at the Smith’s supermarket in White Rock. Greene was arrested by Los Alamos Police Department and charged with two counts of trafficking of a controlled substance (distribution) narcotic, one count of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. All four charges are felonies and Greene has pleaded not guilty.
Greene is to report back to the detention center by not more than 30 minutes after his scheduled work time according to his verified work schedule. A manager at Smith’s declined to say Friday if Greene is still employed there.
At first, it appeared that Judge Taylor was going to release Greene on his own recognizance to live with his parents, however as she worked her way through a long list of questions, she changed paths.
“These are pretty serious allegations that have been brought against you. I’m also aware of property that was obtained from your residence. I was going to release you on your own recognizance but that’s going to be subject to some pretty significant conditions,” Judge Taylor said.
She said she found under rule 6-40 z, the nature and circumstances of the offenses charged do involve alcohol or drugs, particularly drugs, and that the weight of the evidence against (Greene) is persuasive.
“I did consider your character, your physical and mental condition, your family ties, your employment, your past and present residences, the length of your residence in the community, your community ties, your criminal history (it appears you have none), the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or to the community that would be posed by your release, in particular drug sales and/or trafficking, and your involvement with minors. I do consider any other facts to indicate that you may or may not be likely to appear as required,” Judge Taylor said. “It appears that you may have ties outside this county therefore I find that the following are the least restrictive that will both reasonably ensure your appearance and the safety and security of the community, including minors as well as the orderly administration of justice under the following conditions.”
In addition to the conditions under which Green would remain in custody but be allowed to go to work, Judge Taylor listed the standard conditions of release. She said if Greene is even a minute late getting back to the detention center, he will be in violation and she will revoke the other conditions as well.
Gordon Lazar of the Office of the Public Defender was on the phone for the hearing as well as both the District Attorney’s Office. Judge Taylor allowed Lazar to speak although Greene had not yet applied for a public defender.
“It sounds like the Court wants to hold Mr. Greene on pretrial detention but we don’t have a motion here. Mr. Greene has no criminal history whatsoever. I understand the other conditions of release the Court has put in place. I think a curfew would be sufficient to address the Court’s concerns but certainly without any prior criminal history, any history of failure to appear or motion for pretrial detention, that it would be necessary or appropriate to hold Mr. Greene in custody pretrial only releasing him to go to work,” Lazar said.
“I’m imposing that condition under Rule 6401 (d) subsection 12. Particularly I’m focused on like I stated not only on his ability to make the appearances but also for the safety and security of our community given the fact that there are minors involved in some pretty serious drug trafficking allegations,” Judge Taylor responded. “I appreciate your argument and once Mr. Greene becomes a client of your office, that is something we can address as necessary but for the time being those are my orders.”
Lazar also unsuccessfully asked the Court to consider electronic monitoring.
Judge Taylor set a preliminary hearing in the case for Monday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. in the District Courtroom at the Los Alamos Justice Center.