A Massachusetts judge and a court officer have both been indicted after they allegedly helped an illegal immigrant escape an ICE arrest.
They now face charges for obstruction of justice, obstruction of a federal proceeding, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and perjury.
“Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and the court officer, identified in court documents as Wesley MacGregor, face several charges stemming from an April 2, 2018 incident in which the pair allegedly helped Jose Medina-Perez get out of the courthouse via a back door in order to elude the ICE agent who sought Medina-Perez,” Fox News reported.
The report added: “They're both charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting; obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor was also charged with perjury before a federal grand jury.”
Medina-Perez, the illegal immigrant who was scheduled to be taken into ICE custody, has been deported twice. She was arrested on a fugitive warrant for drunk driving in Pennsylvania.
Following the pattern of criminal behavior, ICE issued a detainer.
In an audio recording of court proceedings, Judge Jospeh is heard asking the illegal immigrant’s attorney, “ICE is going to get him?”
“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,” the attorney responds. “That’s the best I can do.”
“What if we detain him?" Joseph asks.
The judge then orders the court clerk to turn off the courtroom’s audio recorder.
The illegal immigrant was later able to sneak out the back door and elude ICE agents.
Apparently, an investigation uncovered enough evidence for an indictment for obstruction and other crimes against the judge.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker condemned the action by the judge he himself appointed.
"Look, judges are not supposed to be in the business of obstructing justice. And as far as I can tell, based on the facts as they were presented, she clearly violated the court's own policies with respect to the way they're supposed to handle continuance and involve federal immigration enforcement," Baker said.