WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - In the space of just a couple of days this week a Windsor man who was acquitted in late August by a jury that found him not guilty of a knife attack against the grandfather of his children went from finally being released from jail in Vermont to now finding himself held without bail in New Hampshire.
Although he’d been cleared of the aggravated assault charge, which could have theoretically landed him in prison for up to life due to his status as a habitual offender, Luis “Pops” Rodriguez, 33, was not immediately released by the Vermont Department of Corrections because he had several other unresolved criminal cases pending.
All of those outstanding Vermont charges were wrapped up on Monday afternoon with a plea deal that resulted in a zero-to-2 year sentence, which meant that Rodriguez was able to walk out of the courthouse in downtown White River Junction with his wife and young daughter to return to their home in Windsor.
In the minutes before he was released Monday Rodriguez made faces and blew kisses to his young daughter who was sitting in the courtroom waiting for him to come home
On Tuesday things hit a snag when Rodriguez reported to the Probation & Parole office in Springfield where they discovered that New Hamsphire authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest back in December as the result of a November traffic stop in Lebanon in which drugs were found in a pickup truck in which Rodriguez was the passenger.
At the time, Lebanon Police wrote in their affidavit that they became suspicious when they noticed that the vehicle still had police evidence tape in the door seams, which indicated to them that it had recently been seized and searched by another jurisdiction. Police said a search of Rodriguez’s jacket that morning turned up syringes, a glass pipe that Rodriguez allegedly admitted using to smoke bath salts and a single Suboxone strip for which he did not have a prescription.
After Probation officers arrested Rodriguez because of the New Hampshire warrant, he was held overnight again at the Springfield jail and brought back into the White River Junction courtroom on Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Timothy Tomasi greeted Rodriguez with a hearty, “Hello again!” to which Rodriguez replied with a bemused “Long time, Your Honor.”
After an extended discussion with the attorneys and probation officials because of the complexities of Rodriguez’s status as a furloughee, the judge agreed to the unusual step of simply releasing Rodriguez with essentially a promise that he would promptly turn himself in to New Hampshire authorities.
Rodriguez did just that, appearing at the Grafton County Courthouse in North Haverhill later in the day Wednesday where he was ordered held without bail on the outstanding felony charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
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