Rochester, NY – A man released from prison in 2019 after having shot a police officer when he was barely a teen has been arrested for a fifth time since he got out.
Rivera was booked into the Monroe County Jail and was being held on a sealed indictment.
The arrest was just the latest in a string of arrests for the convicted felon in the two years since he was released, WHEC reported.
Rivera was arrested in 2009 after he shot 24-year-old Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio, Spectrum News reported.
He was just 14 years old when he was convicted of shooting Officer DiPonzio.
The officer survived but suffered permanent debilitating injuries as a result of his wounds, Spectrum News reported.
Rivera was released from prison in February of 2019 and by December of the same year, he was back in custody, WROC reported.
The recently-released felon was indicted by a Monroe County grand jury in January and charged with six counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree after he allegedly sold Fentanyl to undercover police officers multiple times.
Rivera was arrested but released in the first week of January in 2020 under what were then New York’s brand-new bail reform laws that only allow judges to keep the most violent of criminals behind bars with bail, WROC reported.
“Our hands are certainly tied,” Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Matt Schwartz said at the time.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley explained how the new bail reform laws worked, Spectrum News reported.
“The charges that are currently pending against him, being two undercover charges of fentanyl, they are non-qualifying offenses,” Doorley said. “Under the new law, if you are charged with a non-qualifying offense, the court does not have the authority to set bail. So there is a presumption of release on cognizance or being able to just walk outside of the courtroom.”
Prosecutors and law enforcement have been very critical of the bail reform laws, Spectrum News reported.
“This is someone who’s previously been convicted of shooting a police officer, who has a prior violent felony conviction on his record, who is currently facing allegations of selling Fentanyl to an undercover police officer, who faces a minimum of six years and a maximum of 15 years if he’s convicted of these new drug charges,” Schwartz explained. “And it’s rather disturbing that someone in that situation is automatically released by virtue of this new law.”
Rivera was arrested again in August of 2020 and charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest following an incident that resulted in officers Tasing him, WHEC reported.
But once again he was released under the new bail reform law.
The career criminal was still free and facing those drug charges when the New York State Police arrested him again on Oct. 2, 2020, WROC reported.
The arrest came after state troopers stopped Rivera’s vehicle on Hoff Street in Rochester, WHAM reported.
Troopers found fentanyl, crack, cocaine, and $11,000 in his possession.
“Rivera was charged for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree (2 counts), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 4th (2 counts), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree, and numerous Vehicle and traffic violations,” the state police said in a written statement.
Once again, the career felon was released on his own recognizance after his October drug arrest and given a ticket to appear in court, WROC reported.
However, Rivera was ordered to wear an ankle monitor and surrender his passport as conditions of his release.