Magistrate in fleeing suspect case: I’m ‘not perfect’

Associated Press
Jose Antonio Lopez

Detroit – A magistrate who set a low bond for a Mexican man accused of smuggling drugs in Detroit says she didn’t know he was accused of being part of a large drug operation.

Jose Antonio Lopez has disappeared after posting $200. Police say they caught him with 10 pounds of heroin and 4 pounds of cocaine. He didn’t appear at a recent court hearing and may have fled to Mexico after the March 2 arraignment.

Magistrate Vesta Svenson tells The Associated Press that she’s “not perfect” and may have overlooked the “large amount of drugs.” She says, “I don’t have any memory of this.” No prosecutor attended the weekend arraignment.

Svenson is a former judge who works five or six weekends a year. Wayne County Chief Judge Tim Kenny says Svenson will be dropped from the rotation.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says “it’s an outrage” that Lopez’ bond was so low.