A man arrested on drug charges last winter who was mistakenly freed in a mix-up between jails pleaded guilty to an underlying drug charge Friday.
Meanwhile, a simple solution devised after the release has been implemented and is working well, a Schenectady County Jail official said.
Jermaine Green, 42, previously of Connecticut, pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He admitted he'd possessed cocaine on Second Avenue in Schenectady last April.
In return for his plea, he is to be sentenced in October to three years in state prison.
Green was initially arrested in December in Colonie, but was released by Albany County Jail officials after a message to hold him for Schenectady didn’t get conveyed.
He was taken into custody originally on charges in Colonie and held at the Albany County Jail. He was then brought to Schenectady County Court for arraignment on the Schenectady drug charges and ordered held pending a formal bail application. But Albany County released him five days later, after he posted bail on his Colonie charges.
Schenectady County sheriff’s and court officials attributed the release to Albany County misreading a form that ordered Green held, though Albany County sheriff’s officials disputed that. Schenectady County Undersheriff Gordon Pollard vowed to emphasize the “hold” message on paperwork in future cases by stamping the word “hold” on documents.
Pollard said he would get a “hold” stamp and use it on documents that are sent to other jails with messages to keep prisoners.
Pollard said Friday that he did get the stamp and that it is being used. “We haven’t had any issues,” he said.
In all, Green enjoyed about a month of accidental freedom, until the Schenectady County case was called and the situation was discovered. He was rearrested days later.
Judge Richard Giardino accepted the plea Friday. Green was represented by attorney Brian Mercy.