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Massachusetts Judge and Court Officer Indicted for Allegedly Helping Illegal Immigrant Evade ICE

Massachusetts Judge and Court Officer Indicted for Allegedly Helping Illegal Immigrant Evade ICE

“This case is about the rule of law,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YElwm4qwqNQ&t=19s

Thursday, Massachusetts District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and now retired Court Officer Wesley MacGregor were indicted on one count of obstruction of justice in relation to allegations from 2018 in which the pair is accused of helping an illegal immigrant sneak out the back of the courthouse to avoid arrest by ICE officials who’d arrived to arrest the individual. MacGregor was also charged with perjury.

From NBC News:

A Massachusetts judge conspired with a court officer to help a twice-deported undocumented immigrant slip out a back exit of a courthouse and elude arrest by immigration authorities, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Judge Shelley Joseph and court officer Wesley MacGregor were hit with federal obstruction of justice charges for allegedly aiding the defendant, who was arrested in March 2018 on charges of drug possession and being a fugitive from justice, according to an indictment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

The man, identified as A.S., was allowed to dash out of a rear sally port entrance at the state courthouse in Newton, Massachusetts, on April 2, 2018, after a plainclothes immigration enforcement agent identified himself to the judge and other courtroom personnel, federal prosecutors said.

“This case is about the rule of law,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.

“We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law. Everyone in the justice system — not just judges, but law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel — should be held to a higher standard.”

“We did not bring this case in response to the public debate over immigration enforcement. There are reasonable arguments on both sides of that debate, but this isn’t a policy seminar, it’s a law enforcement action,” said Lelling.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (a Democrat) called the indictment “radical” and “politically motivated.” From WBUR:

Today’s indictment is a radical and politically-motivated attack on our state and the independence of our courts. It is a bedrock principle of our constitutional system that federal prosecutors should not recklessly interfere with the operation of state courts and their administration of justice. This matter could have been appropriately handled by the Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Trial Court. I am deeply disappointed by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s misuse of prosecutorial resources and the chilling effect his actions will have.

The indictment doesn’t cite the name of the defendant who was allegedly helped out the back door, but WBUR believes he was twice deported:

The defendant isn’t named in the indictment, but has been previously identified as Jose Medina-Perez, 38, from the Dominican Republic. In April 2018, he was facing drug charges and a fugitive warrant out of Pennsylvania for drunken driving. Immigration officials say the defendant’s real name is Oscar Manuel Peguero. According to Lelling’s office, Peguero has been deported from the U.S. twice — in 2003 and 2007 — and a federal order had been issued prohibiting him for re-entering until 2027.

The incident was first reported by The Boston Globe last December. Courtroom recordings allegedly caught the judge, state prosecutor and defendant’s attorney talking about the ICE agent looking for Peguero.

Peguero was picked up by police later in April 2018.

Full indictment here:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. (1) SHELLEY M. RICHMOND JOSEPH and (2) WESLEY MACGREGOR by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Comments

If these people get away with this, then nobody can say anything about how this WAS a Nation of Laws……

Can we stop calling them illegal “IMMIGRANTS”? A stranger who breaks into my home isn’t called an “illegal Guest”.

Immigrants are persons who recognize and respects the sovereign border of their native country AND the one they are leaving for.

    MarkS in reply to Aucturian. | April 25, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    How about “trespassers”?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Aucturian. | April 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    How about a “mass of hostile foreign invaders sponsored and enabled by their government”. q.v. an act of war.

    Subotai Bahadur

    navyvet in reply to Aucturian. | April 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    By definition they are criminals. So “criminal immigrants” should work.

    jakee308 in reply to Aucturian. | April 25, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    It’s getting worse. The style guides for the newsies now seems to require they be called “migrants”. Which is an acceptance of their crossing borders at will.

    Ppl don’t understand how changing the language used can change the discussion underway.

    But the news folks do.

    walls in reply to Aucturian. | April 27, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Call them what they are … INVADERS. If you want to be more descriptive, call them Spanish-speaking, 3rd-world, craphole INVADERS. Back in the days when countries had balls, they used to shoot INVADERS.

This is the way to do it. Arrests, disbarment, whatever it takes to show these people they serve the law, not a political cause.

I am deeply disappointed by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s misuse of prosecutorial resources and the chilling effect his actions will have.

I think the “chilling effects” are the whole idea. This is notice that the days when criminals and their Dem buddies can “interpret” American laws into oblivion are over.

Maybe. It’s a step in the right direction, at least.

I don’t know why the defense attorney wasn’t also charged. He’s as guilty as the other two. The release scheme seems to have been his idea. Defense attorneys owe as much alliegence to the legal system as to their clients.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to faboutlaws. | April 25, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Maybe the defense attorney rolled over very quickly and will get his/her slap on the wrist when the two indicted are dealt with.

      Tom Servo in reply to amatuerwrangler. | April 25, 2019 at 10:43 pm

      I imagine that the Defense Attorney is lucky that he didn’t have any power or authority in the situation – he was a cheerleader, but he wasn’t a player. The two people indicted were the two people who had the power and the authority in that situation to see that the law was followed, and they deliberately ignored their duty.

        Observer in reply to Tom Servo. | April 26, 2019 at 9:35 am

        The defense attorney may not have had any power, but he did have an ethical obligation as an officer of the court. He should be facing charges from the state bar, if nothing else.

Good. Throw the book at that judge. I’m sick and tired of these black robes thinking they can act like Caesar.

Close The Fed | April 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm

This isn’t a “radical” step. Rather, it is an infinitesimally small step.

The Constitution provides the federal government is to protect the states from invasion. My county and my state have been invaded.

A “normal” step to counter an invasion is to put the military on the border, draw arms, and shoot to kill.

A “normal” counter to a successful en masse invasion, is to get cattle cars, such as I travelled in when in the U.S.Army, and pick up every person who has the indicia of being an illegal alien and has no papers on them as required by law for foreigners in our country, take them to a processing center, sort them into lawfully present and unlawfully present, and DEPORT IMMEDIATELY, the unlawfully present. Like within 36 hours.

A “normal” American expects these things, not this picayune, engage-in-five-year-legal-quicksand crap.

The German spies were picked up and shot within days as I recall, during WWII.

THAT’S a federal government defending us from invasion. What it’s doing now is worthless, useless and expensive to citizens without justification.

This reporter was at the court,

https://twitter.com/kathrynburcham/status/1121472612885049344

She said Joseph is suspended without pay.

Joseph & MacGregor were released with a unsecured $15,000 bond.

https://twitter.com/kathrynburcham/status/1121515340096315393

Subotai Bahadur | April 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm

It is noteworthy that these events happen in Democrat-Socialist controlled polities, and are defended by Democrat-Socialists to whom the concept of a law or Constitution that limits them is heresy.

The sad thing is that even if convicted, the judge will at worst do no prison time, will not pay any fines out of her pocket [the Mass. ACLU and various lobbying groups will cover any fines], and will have a lifetime as a Democrat-Socialist celebrity unless she says or does something politically incorrect. Books [ghostwritten] and media appearances guaranteed.

The court officer will go under the bus as a member of the peasant class. Not that he does not deserve it, especially after lying under oath about it, but he should not be alone.

Subotai Bahadur

    I suspect some Democrat or GOPe judge will quash the indictments.

    She might – but she clearly and without remorse, violated federal harboring code, under Title 8. She clearly violated it and the weakest punishment is 5 years. If the released alien got into mischief afterwards, then it gets worse.

      JPL17 in reply to venril. | April 26, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Repeating my reply to your comment below:

      Why didn’t the indictment charge them with obstruction under Title 8, Section 1324? I’m troubled that that charge was omitted.

This judge, a Democrat, was appointed by the current light in the shoes go along get along Republican governor, Charlie Baker. He’s awful. The judge makes $187,000 per year.

But for Trump, these POS would be getting off Scott-free.

regulus arcturus | April 25, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (a Democrat) should be indicted and removed for her ignorant and fraudulent comments.

Tip of the iceberg

Would this indictment have taken place if “Feckless” Jeff Sessions were out Attorney General?

Obstruction, as well as violations of Title 8 of the US code, section 1324, Harboring:

8 U.S. Code § 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens [1]

U.S. Code
Notes

(a) Criminal penalties
(1)
(A) Any person who—
(i) …;
(ii) …;
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

And the punishment is cool:

(B) A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs—
(i) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i) or (v)(I) or in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), or (iv) in which the offense was done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both;
(ii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;
(iii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) during and in relation to which the person causes serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, or places in jeopardy the life of, any person, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and
(iv) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) resulting in the death of any person, be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined under title 18, or both.

conceivably, if the alien commits murder because you harbored, you’re in a world of trouble.

(1) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1324

    JPL17 in reply to venril. | April 26, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I agree the judge and court officer probably committed the crime of obstruction under Title 8, Section 1324. However, I’m troubled that the indictment doesn’t mention this section.

    Why weren’t they charged with obstruction?

The feel good story of the day!

I’ve been waiting all day to read the outraged editorials- and they seem to be missing.

Liberal bloggers don’t seem to be blogging about it. The most liberal of the writers at Volokh hasn’t weighed in to criticize and damn Trump and the DOJ.

You’d almost think they figure they haven’t got a chance of swaying public opinion to supporting this judge.

Another liberal female judge in Portland, Or. committed very same felony. U.S. attorney let her off the hook. Both the judge and U.S. attorney should be prosecuted.

Voice_of_Reason | April 29, 2019 at 7:39 am

interesting how the masshole AG whines that it is radical for the feds to arrest a masshole judge who is violating federal law and obstructing enforcement of federal law.

so to democrats, enforcing laws is “radical”.

Voice_of_Reason | April 29, 2019 at 7:41 am

why do we even have laws, when democrats pick and choose among clearly constitutional laws which ones they prefer – and therefore enforce – and which ones they do not like and do not enforce?

Voice_of_Reason | April 29, 2019 at 7:41 am

why do we even have laws, when democrats pick and choose among clearly constitutional laws which ones they prefer – and therefore enforce – and which ones they do not like and do not enforce?

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