Judge charged with helping defendant escape ICE custody through back door of courthouse

  
Via:  cms5  •  4 weeks ago  •  10 comments

Judge charged with helping defendant escape ICE custody through back door of courthouse
"ICE is going to pick him up if he walks out the front door," a defense attorney later said on the record, according to a transcript. "But I think the best thing for us to do is clear the fugitive issue, release him on a personal, and hope that he can avoid ICE … That's the best I can do."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Boston – A trial court judge and a court officer have been indicted on federal charges of obstruction of justice. CBS Boston reports prosecutors allege that Newton District Court judge Shelley Joseph and court officer Wesley MacGregor helped a defendant leave through a back door to avoid being detained by an ICE officer.

United States Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling announced details of the case Thursday afternoon. A short time later, the Supreme Judicial Court announced Joseph has been suspended without pay until further notice.

judgeweston.jpg
Newton District Court judge Shelley Joseph presides over a 2018 arraignment.  CBS Boston

Both Joseph and MacGregor were arraigned Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.

"This prosecution is absolutely political, Shelley Joseph is absolutely innocent," Joseph's attorney Tom Hoopes said outside court.

Jose Medina-Perez, identified in court documents as "A.S." or alien subject, was arrested March 30, 2018 as a fugitive from justice from Pennsylvania on narcotics possession charges. ICE issued a federal immigration detainer.

Medina-Perez had allegedly entered the country illegally for a third time.

According to court documents, on April 2 around 9:30 a.m. an ICE officer arrived in plainclothes, identified himself, and sat in the courtroom during the morning session. Medina-Perez's case was called around 10:30 a.m., but Joseph agreed to re-call it later in to the day.

Documents allege that Joseph ordered the clerk to have the ICE officer wait outside until the defendant was released into the lobby.

During a sidebar recorded during another hearing later in the day, Joseph asks "(Clerk) can we go off the record for a moment?" and the courtroom recorder is shut off for 52 seconds.

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Court officer Wesley MacGregor outside federal court. CBS Boston

"ICE is going to pick him up if he walks out the front door," a defense attorney later said on the record, according to a transcript. "But I think the best thing for us to do is clear the fugitive issue, release him on a personal, and hope that he can avoid ICE … That's the best I can do."

Joseph ordered Medina-Perez released and speaking about the ICE officer says "I'm not gonna allow them to come in here," according to the transcript.

Medina-Perez was returned to lockup to gather belongings. MacGregor allegedly used his security access card at a back door around 3 p.m.

The ICE officer did not know Medina-Perez exited the courthouse.

ICE issued a statement following Joseph's indictment.

"The actions of the judge in this incident are a detriment to the rule of law and highly offensive to the law enforcement officers of ICE who swear an oath to uphold our nation's immigration laws," said Todd M. Lyons, Acting Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Boston. "In order for our criminal justice system to work fairly for all people, it must be protected against judicial officials who would seek to replace the implementation of our laws with their own ideological views or politically-driven agenda. I would also like to thank U.S. Attorney Lelling for his local leadership and his continuous and faithful support of the ERO law enforcement mission."

jose-medina-perez-2.jpg
Jose Medina-Perez Newton District Court

Prosecutors claim Joseph made false statements about why the courtroom recording was shut off during the sidebar. Joseph allegedly "falsely attributed unfamiliarity with the courtroom recording equipment as the reason the recorder was turned off."

Joseph and MacGregor are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, obstruction of a federal proceeding and perjury.

Gov. Charlie Baker called the allegations "disturbing."

"Nobody's above the law," he said.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey slammed the decision to prosecute as a "radical and politically-motivated attack on our state and the independence of our courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union also was critical of the decision, saying in a statement the charges are a result of President Trump's "anti-immigrant agenda."  

First published on April 26, 2019 / 6:38 AM

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cms5
1  seeder  cms5    4 weeks ago
Prosecutors claim Joseph made false statements about why the courtroom recording was shut off during the sidebar. Joseph allegedly "falsely attributed unfamiliarity with the courtroom recording equipment as the reason the recorder was turned off."

Remarkable. This guy has entered this country illegally a THIRD time and a judge and her court officer sneak him out of court so that ICE couldn't detain him. Really??!

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  cms5 @1    4 weeks ago
 
 
 
cms5
1.1.1  seeder  cms5  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @1.1    4 weeks ago

A mayor warning illegals that ICE raid is about to happen is political. A judge...an officer of the law...should NOT be playing political games.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
1.1.2  Jasper2529  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @1.1    4 weeks ago
forgetting this?

In your link, the mayor of Oakland, CA (Schaff) said that a Mexican national was a "citizen" of the USA ...

Schaaf brought up the plight of Maria Sanchez, a Highland Hospital oncology nurse who was deported last year to Mexico, leaving behind three daughters. Maria was a law-abiding citizen who along with her husband was deported

These people are beyond crazy!

 
 
 
Snuffy
1.2  Snuffy  replied to  cms5 @1    4 weeks ago

And there I thought we had that "Independent Judiciary" thing that we should all be thankful for. You know, an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right under the law to those appearing before them.

 
 
 
cms5
1.2.1  seeder  cms5  replied to  Snuffy @1.2    4 weeks ago

She never should have interfered...and then lie about not being familiar with recording equipment.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
2  The Magic Eight Ball    4 weeks ago

I wish our constitution had stated all elected and public officials will face double the legal penalties for any offense.

 
 
 
luther28
2.1  luther28  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @2    4 weeks ago

There is something I agree with. If they wish to swim in that pool, they should be held to a higher standard than us mere mortals.

The law is the law, it should be applied to all of us equally. If the law be unfair or unliked then petition the lawmakers to change it.

Seems to be a lot of judicial making it up as we go along of late, from all fronts.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3  It Is ME    4 weeks ago

A new ...… "Love after Lockup".....episode in the making ?

 
 
 
squiggy
4  squiggy    4 weeks ago

"...our state and the independence of our courts."

"Alex, I'll take "What was said in Alabama" for $500."

 
 
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