She Was Helping Illegal Immigrants Avoid Capture, And Now She Is Under Arrest….

A Massachusetts judge and a court officer have been indicted for obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting after allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant evade ICE detention.

Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and court officer Wesley MacGregor have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Massachusetts for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant, Jose Medina-Perez, evade ICE detention.

The incident occurred on April 2, 2018, when the pair helped Medina-Perez escape through the back door of the courthouse while ICE agents were waiting out front to arrest him. As a result, Joseph and MacGregor were charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting obstruction of federal proceedings, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor also faces a perjury charge after he stood before the grand jury.

“This case is about the rule of law. The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime,” said Andrew Lelling, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Medina-Perez had twice been deported back to Mexico and was wanted for a drunk driving charge in Pennsylvania at the time of his escape. ICE had submitted a detainer for him and requested that the court hand him over for a 48-hour hold before his deportation. An ICE agent was waiting in the courtroom lobby to obtain Medina-Perez when the judge helped him escape out the back door without detection.

During Medina-Perez’s court hearing, there was evidence that the judge knew he was wanted by ICE. The defendant’s lawyer then told the judge, “ICE will pick him up if he walks out the front door. But I think the best thing for us to do is clear the fugitive issue and release him on a personal, and hope that he can avoid ICE. That’s the best I can do.”

“What if we detain him?” the judge asked before she demanded the courtroom recording device be turned off.

Minutes later, the undocumented immigrant snuck out the back door and escaped ICE. Peter Fitzberg, a special agent with the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, who was in charge of leading this investigation, said, “As public servants, all of the officers in the court make a promise. A promise to serve the people’s interests above all else. Today we know this promise has been broken.”

Since the indictment, Joseph has been suspended without pay. MacGregor appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty on all counts, along with the judge. The next court appearance has not been set with a date.

This incident has sparked controversy and raised questions about the role of judges and law enforcement in dealing with undocumented immigrants. Some argue that the judge and court officer acted in the best interest of the immigrant and exercised discretion in a difficult situation. Others argue that they broke the law and should be held accountable for their actions.

The case has also drawn attention to the issue of ICE detainers, which have been criticized for targeting individuals who have not committed serious crimes and for separating families. Critics argue that ICE detainers are not only inhumane but also violate individuals’ rights to due process.

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Sources: AWM, Foxnews, WHDH