Judge accused of protecting Dominican narco rejects agreement with federal prosecutors
NEW YORK. – The state judge of the court of the city of Newton in Massachusetts, Shelley Joseph Richmond, accused by federal prosecutors of protecting Dominican drug trafficker José Medina, so that he would not be arrested and deported by the immigration police (ICE) , rejected Tuesday an agreement proposed by the prosecution to plead guilty to the charges.
The magistrate, who is fighting another legal battle to have her suspended salary restored, was charged with the retired officer of her court, Wesley MacGregor, of whom prosecutors say they took Medina out of the back of the court for an agent of ICE, who was waiting for him, could not arrest him.
Medina, according to the indictment, had been deported to the Dominican Republic for drugs, from where he returned to the United States illegally, to continue drug trafficking.
The judge and McGregor were indicted in April on charges of obstruction of justice and instigation to interfere with a federal investigation.
Prosecutors said that despite offering them the agreement, McGregor rejected it and the judge has not responded to the offer.
A memo from the Public Prosecutor’s Office says that the parties believe that a trial is likely and will last approximately one week. The Boston Herald newspaper published in May that the 51-year-old judge was offered an agreement to avoid the trial. If she admitted that she helped an illegal immigrant escape through a basement door in court to prevent ICE from stopping and deporting him.
That same month, the judge asked the State Supreme Court to reinstate her salary of $ 184,000 dollars a year, after she was suspended without pay.
“Unproven and unfounded charges by the federal government do not require this unprecedented and serious sanction, or the lack of a fair process that assisted in its imposition,” said the lawyers of the judge in his petition to restore his salary.
Many believe that the judge is a scapegoat for the policy of persecution of Democrats and minorities of President Donald Trump, practiced by the Massachusetts federal prosecutor.
MacGregor, 56, was accused of obstructing justice and helping, instigating and perjury.
The parties will return to federal court on August 5 to follow up on the case.
The judge faces up to 20 years in jail if she is convicted of allowing the illegal immigrant to escape.