No bail for agent accused of joining DEA to help violent drug gang

A New York judge said a Drug Enforcement Administration agent must remain behind bars while awaiting trial on charges of joining the agency to help a murderous drug organization.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said Monday that Fernando Gomez was a risk to flee after his December arrest at his Chicago office. Gomez pleaded not guilty to charges carrying a potential mandatory 20-year prison penalty and a life maximum.

Lawyer Thomas Durkin said his client is not a flight threat and is a law-abiding citizen who served six years in the U.S. Marines.

The 41-year-old Chicago resident was brought to New York after a Chicago magistrate judge said he should be released on bail. The government appealed to Furman, who will preside over the agent's September trial. Furman called the case "extraordinary."