Washington, April 26 (IANS) A judge in the US and a court officer have been charged for allegedly helping an undocumented immigrant dodge immigration officials and escape court.
The Massachusetts judge and the officer allegedly allowed the man to exit through a courthouse back door while an immigration officer waited outside to arrest him, the BBC reported.
In their first court appearance on Thursday, both Boston-area judge Shelley Joseph, 51, and Wesley MacGregor, 46, pleaded not guilty and were released after being charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
According to court documents, an agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) had attended an April 2018 hearing in a Newton for the man, who was in court on drug charges and for being a fugitive from justice.
The Ice man was there to apprehend the suspect, who unidentified in court documents, was named Jose Medina-Perez, according to the media.
A Dominican Republic native, Medina-Perez had reportedly been deported from the US two times, in 2003 and 2007, the Boston Globe reported.
Court documents cite an order that prohibited Mr Medina-Perez from entering the US until 2027, according to the newspaper.
Judge Joseph and MacGregor, were both charged with one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and two counts of obstruction of justice. MacGregor was also charged with perjury, the BBC reported.
The judge has been suspended without pay by the state Supreme Judicial Court judicial. MacGregor recently retired from his position as court officer last month.
Last month, US officials said the US-Mexico border was at a “breaking point” amid an “unprecedented” surge in migrant numbers.