Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Years later, victim of Dallas fake drug scandal comes home

Here's another strange, sad postscript to the Dallas fake drug scandal: Until recently, one of the innocent people set up by lying cops and informants couldn't get back into the United States after being deported because of the (false, overturned) drug conviction on his record. Reported the Dallas News ("Fake drug victim gets a fresh start," Jan. 4):

As the immigration case before the U.S. Consulate in Juárez dragged on, so did despair, [Jaime] Chavez said. His wife struggled with house payments in McKinney, and eventually the bank foreclosed on the home. Chavez traveled back and forth to Juárez from his hometown in the Mexican state of Michoacán.

"Juárez is horrible," he said, recounting the drug violence of warring cartels. "Every day they kill people there."

But by Sept. 17, 2009, a letter came from the vice consul of the U.S. government in Juárez. "Our office is taking quick steps to avoid an 'ironic travesty of justice,' " wrote Miriam Elise Tokumasu.

The U.S. government canceled the administrative procedures that were delaying Chavez from returning to his U.S. family. In late November, Chavez was reunited with his wife and daughter. And now, with the stability of permanent legal residency, Chavez spent this Christmas united with two other children from a previous relationship.

To get Chavez to this point, his attorney carefully prepared a packet of news clips and legal pleadings about the Chavez case and the charges against Mark Delapaz, the Dallas police narcotics detective who was the central figure in the scandal. Delapaz is serving a five-year sentence on a 2005 conviction for lying to a judge, aggravated perjury and tampering with evidence.

Under the scheme, victims, mostly citizens of Mexico, were arrested and jailed after being set up by a paid informant on drug charges in which the seized "drugs" later proved to be either finely ground Sheetrock or billiards chalk. Some cases were deemed tainted by the involvement of two suspended Dallas police officers or their discredited paid confidential informants who used real cocaine or methamphetamines.

The charges against Chavez were dismissed in 2003, according to court documents. In Washington, the State Department didn't comment on the foul-ups in the case.

See related Grits posts:


Anonymous said...

About Mexico's problem.

"But this problem, funded largely by U.S. drug users, has rapidly transformed into a battle against a terrorist insurgency, and victory is every bit as important to Mexico's security as is America's battle against al-Qaeda. Defeat for Mexico means nothing less than a descent into chaos. This might sound alarmist, but the tactics being employed by Mexico's drug gangs, not to mention their spread into U.S. border cities, is truly cause for alarm."

I have a suggestion. To start with we could all go drug free for one day. It would be a start. If you couldn't manage that, maybe that tells you something.

Anonymous said...

John Reed said,The USA is not his home.He needs to go back to Mexico.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

His wife lives here, he was a legal resident and a homeowner before being falsely accused of a crime. This is his home.

Comments like that are what tell me that many complaints about illegal immigrants are really just racism - you're not concerned about legal status or even right or wrong, Mr. Reed, you clearly just don't want any Mexicans here.

Anonymous said...

John Reed said,why was he sent back to Mexico.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Because he was set up by police falsely convicted of a drug crime.

Anonymous said...

John Reed said,Drug crime or no drug crime he was not born in the US.He needs to do the paper work that has to be done to be in the US.Other people have to do it why not him.

Anonymous said...

John Reed said,I see he was a Legal Resident.Grits you are dead wrong about me not wanting people from Mexico in the US.Just do it the wright way.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Then why do you want him to be sent to Mexico, Mr. Reed? The guy's been sitting in Juarez waiting for legal permission to rejoin his family, but you'd deny him that for no good reason (that you've expressed). How else can we interpret your snide "go back to Mexico" statement?