The Riverside man accused of possessing crack cocaine in his Vail Avenue house with the intent to sell was released from county jail October 4 after spending two weeks behind bars. Moses Bullock, 46, had been held since September 20, arrested by Southampton Town police on two felony charges, along with the possession count, and criminal possession of a weapon after brass knuckles were found at the scene. The possession is a felony due to the defendant’s prior criminal conviction. Police said $6700 in cash was also confiscated.
Bullock was arrested after police executed a search warrant on his residence, which they said was obtained following a prolonged investigation as a result of multiple calls and tips from neighborhood residents. Bullock had been held without bail after being arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court the day after his arrest due to two prior felony convictions, both from over 10 years ago. A local court cannot set bail on a defendant charged at the felony level who has two or more prior felony convictions.
A grand jury had returned an indictment on the charges on September 27, which also include a misdemeanor for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia for a digital scale. He was brought into the courtroom of State Supreme Court Justice Philip Goglas in Riverside to be arraigned.
Saam Jalayen of the district attorney’s office asked bail be set at $75,000, citing Bullock’s past arrests and convictions. After entering a not-guilty plea to the charges, Susan Ambro of the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society asked Bullock be released without bail. She said her client has a steady job, that the lab test results of the alleged drug had not yet come back, and that what the police had found was merely residue. Ambro added she believes the weight of what came back from the lab would not be enough to qualify for a felony charge. As part of the major criminal procedure law reforms coming this January, she said those accused of the kind of crimes Bullock is being accused of will automatically be released without bail.
Goglas agreed with Ambro’s reasoning, and ordered Bullock released without having to post bail.
Bullock’s mother, who was in the courtroom, was relieved that her son was being let go.
“I live in a racist town. They target African American men, especially in the Riverside neighborhood. It is not fair,” she said. She would not give her name, fearing retaliation.
In response, Lt. Susan Ralph, a spokesperson for the Southampton Town police, said, “We do not see color when we police. Our goal is to keep our community safe for everyone.”