Bail denied in drug smuggling

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A man accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the state penitentiary at Angola for Baton Rouge rapper Torrence “Lil Boosie’’ Hatch was ordered held without bail Wednesday.

State District Judge Trudy White denied Titus Franklin’s request for bail after prosecutor Dana Cummings noted that Franklin, of Baton Rouge, has posted bail totaling nearly $450,000 in six drug cases in less than two years.

“He’s spittin’ in the face of Lady Justice,’’ Cummings told the judge. “He’s a danger to the community.’’

Hatch, who is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in an alleged murder-for-hire, was indicted last month and accused of trying to get codeine into the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He is being held without bail in the murder case.

Franklin and another man, Arthur Stewart, both 27, also were indicted in the alleged drug-smuggling scheme. Stewart is in custody on a probation hold, Cummings said.

Hatch, 28, who is serving time on an unrelated drug charge, also is under indictment for allegedly conspiring to introduce illegal drugs into Dixon Correctional Institute at Jackson.

Franklin’s attorney, Frank Ferrara, argued to White that Franklin is entitled to a “reasonable’’ bail — noting that Franklin is not charged with murder, rape, armed robbery or some other violent crime.

“I don’t mean to suggest it’s a traffic ticket,’’ Ferrara said of Franklin’s drug charges. “He shouldn’t be treated like one of those people out there committing horrible crimes.’’

Cummings called Franklin a “drug dealer’’ and said 90 percent of violent crime is the result of drug deals gone bad.

“Drug dealers are dangerous to our community,’’ White stated.

After speaking briefly with Franklin, Ferrara told the judge that some of Franklin’s drug arrests involved his own prescriptions.

Cummings told reporters that Franklin has violated all of the conditions for bail previously set for him.

“He was given his chance again, and again, and again, and again — if that was enough agains,’’ she said.

Hatch has been in prison since he pleaded guilty in 2009 to a third-offense marijuana possession charge.