Alexander Carlson, 30, of Edgartown, was arraigned in Edgartown district court Friday on charges of trafficking in fentanyl and resisting arrest.

The Hon. J. Thomas Kirkman, presiding justice of the district court, reduced bail from $100,000 to $25,000 after hearing arguments from the prosecutor and the defense attorney at the arraignment.

Not guilty pleas were entered by the court on Mr. Carlson’s behalf.

Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Benjamin Vaneria argued for bail to remain at $100,000, as it had been set by district court clerk/magistrate Liza Williamson Monday following Mr. Carlson’s arrest.

Hon. J. Thomas Kirkland, presiding district court judge. — Mark Lovewell

“We’re asking for $100,000 based on the defendant’s record of convictions, the potential penalty if he is convicted of these particular charges, and the nature and circumstances of the execution of a search warrant,” said Mr. Vaneria. “He’s had two separate instances where he’s gone to jail for drug distribution.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic, described as 50 times more potent than heroin, and is widely blamed for a spike in overdoses in the Cape and Islands region.

The prosecutor said the drug is too dangerous for police to handle.

“Police made the decision not to take any of the drugs out and test it, due to how potent fentanyl is,” said Mr. Vaneria. “Based on the investigation, and police looking at the drugs, there is good faith probable cause basis to believe it is fentanyl.”

Defense attorney Robert Moriarty asked the judge not to be swayed by passion or prejudice.

“I would suggest $100,000 bail in a case like this is a manslaughter bail,” said Mr. Moriarty. “It’s an extraordinary request. Mr. Carlson shows up for court. I can’t divorce him from his record, but he shows up. He has substantial ties to this community. I’d ask that you set realistic bail, in line with other cases. I would suggest with his record and his ties, $15,000 is appropriate when taking into account all the factors you have to assess.”

Judge Kirkman settled on $25,000 bail, and ordered Mr. Carlson back to court for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 13.