[Rodriguez's attorney George Filley III] said in a telephone conversation with DeWitt County Sheriff Jode Zavesky, the sheriff acknowledged that the investigation and arrest was an error and expressed regrets over the matter.
"The whole problem is Steven's drivers license was used to identify him, and that photo released to the news media," Filley said. "How in the world did that happen?"
Filley, who had 30 years experience in law enforcement and is also a former Victoria County district attorney, said part of the problem is that evidence is not reviewed thoroughly before a warrant is issued.
"In some of the outlying counties, the district and county attorneys do not review the complaints or applications for warrants before the warrant is issued," Filley said. "In this case, this is a direct filing. An officer swears out a complaint before a magistrate and based on what the officer swears to, the magistrate issues a warrant. That's frightening. That could be any one of us.
"It's never been reviewed by the prosecutor. Never been reviewed for sufficiency of evidence. That's how you can get into mistakes. In this particular case, it resulted in a terrible miscarriage on justice."
[Sheriff] Zavesky was apologetic.
"The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office deeply regrets the arrest of Mr. Rodriguez. There was a misidentification of Mr. Rodriguez during our investigation and as soon as we were made aware of the situation, all charges were dismissed. Actions have been taken to correct process and to assure that it does not happen again."
Another man named Steven Rodriguez continues to be sought in connection with the undercover investigation.One wonders how often this occurs and how frequently authorities figure out the mistake? The same thing happened to a two separate defendants in the Dallas jail earlier this year and they were both released after a week or so. But one of the Dallas DNA exonerees, James Giles, was initially arrested because he had the same name as the actual suspect in a similar, Kafka-esque identity mix-up that cost him ten years in prison and another 14 as a registered sex offender before his name was cleared. Some of these identity mixups take a lot longer than one to three weeks to sort out.