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Prosecutors oppose bail for man indicted in federal drug case, say he is ‘danger to community’

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — One of nine men indicted in connection to a federal drug ring case has asked for bail.

Prosecutors oppose the request for George Barnette, 37, who they say should be denied bail because he is a danger to the community.

Barnette has been held without bail since his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Burke after his indictment was unsealed June 23.

The indictment in the case said that Barnette is accused of selling cocaine in the Youngstown area from July to December of 2019.

Barnette’s attorney, David Betras, asked for a motion to reconsider bail for his client. Betras said his client is not a danger to the community and is not a risk to flee because he owns a business, has family, including children, who live here and has lived in the area his entire life.

Betras wrote that his client could be put on electronically monitored house arrest should he make bail if the court has concerns about his appearance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis, however, said that Barnette has a lengthy criminal record, citing at least six prior felony convictions in state court, including charges of improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle, trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine.

Makridis also wrote that Barnette has failed to appear for two previous court appearances in other cases and he has violated probation in the past four times.

“The government maintains that there are no conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community,” Makridis wrote.

Court records do not show a hearing date scheduled as of yet.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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