A judge is under fire for helping an undocumented immigrant.
The undocumented immigrant, Jose Medina-Perez (identified in official documents only as “A.S.”), had been a fugitive from justice and had been previously deported twice from the United States. A.S. was arrested again in March 2018; on Medina-Perez’s court date, an ICE officer showed up, ready to pick up Medina-Perez for potential deportation.
According to federal prosecutors, ICE issued an immigration detainer against Medina-Perez, who had previously been deported, following his arrest by Newton Police in March of 2018.
A plainclothes ICE agent showed up at Newton District Court for Medina-Perez’s arraignment, intending to take him into custody. But federal prosecutors allege that Shelley M. Richmond Joseph ordered the agent out of the courtroom and ordered the courtroom recorder turned off as she discussed Medina-Perez’s ICE detainer with his defense attorney and an Assistant District Attorney.
“ICE is gonna get him?” Joseph said, according to a transcript of the recorded portion of the conversation.
Minutes later the undocumented immigrant snuck out the back door and escaped ICE.
“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,” United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said.
On Thursday, both Joseph and MacGregor were slammed with the obstruction of justice charge as well as aiding and abetting; obstruction of federal proceeding, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor also got slammed with a perjury charge after he stood before the federal grand jury.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for the temporary removal of a state judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant to evade immigration authorities who were in a courthouse waiting to detain him.
Since the indictment, Joseph was suspended without pay. MacGregor also appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty on all counts, along with the judge. Their next court appearance has not been set with a date.