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Volokh Conspiracy

Massachusetts Judge Indicted for "Helping Defendant Avoid ICE Arrest"


MassLive (Melissa Hanson) reports, and you can read the indictment itself. An excerpt:

It was the object of the conspiracy to corruptly attempt to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, to wit, an ICE federal removal proceeding, by preventing the ICE Officer from taking custody of [Alien Subject] A.S. at the NDC Courthouse ….

It was a part of the conspiracy that defendant [court officer Wesley MacGregor] and the Defense Attorney agreed that defendant MacGregor would use his security access card to release A.S. out the rear-sally-port exit in order for A.S. to evade arrest by the ICE Officer ….

It was a part of the conspiracy that defendant [Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph] and the Defense Attorney agreed to create a pretext for A.S. to be brought back downstairs to the lockup so that A.S. could be released out the rear sally-port exit in order to evade arrest by the ICE Officer ….

[In furtherance of this,] Defendant Joseph ordered the Clerk to tum off the Courtroom recording device to conceal defendant Joseph's conversation with the Defense Attorney.

With the recorder off, defendant Joseph and the Defense Attorney discussed devising a way to have A.S. avoid being arrested by the ICE Officer.

Defendant Joseph ordered that the ICE Officer be prevented from entering the downstairs Courthouse lockup area.

After ordering A.S.'s release, defendant Joseph ordered that A.S. be returned downstairs to the lockup for the Defense Attorney to "further interview" A.S., which, in reality, was a pretext to allow A.S. to access the rear sally-port exit in order to avoid the ICE Officer….

A.S. had been arrested for being a fugitive from justice from Pennsylvania and with narcotics possession. He had been earlier deported from the U.S. in 2003 and 2007, and was forbidden to reenter the U.S. until 2027.